How Unemployment Affects Your Health

I recently read about a link between unemployment and heart attacks.  I never thought about the psychological effect not having a job could have on your heart.  It does kind of make sense though if you think about it.  Here’s what the study had to say

I recently read about a link between unemployment and heart attacks.  I never thought about the psychological effect not having a job could have on your heart.  It does kind of make sense though if you think about it.  Here’s what the study had to say

Researchers found that the first year of unemployment provided the greatest risk, and if the person was laid off more than once their risk increased.  This study looked at almost 14,000 people, ages 51-75 over an 18 year period.  About 70% of the participants were unemployed at some point during the study, either through quitting their job or being laid off.  During this study period approximately 8% of the participants had a heart attack.  The numbers that really stood out were the people that lost four or more jobs were 63% more likely to have a heart attack than people who had not lost a job.  If they lost only one job then they were 22% more likely to have a heart attack.

Race and gender didn’t really matter when it came to risk.  Both genders and all races were pretty much equal in the study.  What the researchers believe to be the smoking gun is cortisol.  Cortisol is a stress hormone that seems to be highly present in situations like unemployment.  Financial uncertainty and heightened anxiety definitely contribute to this hormone being present.

Other factors with unemployment were lifestyle behaviors.  Unemployed people tend to smoke, drink too much, eat unhealthy foods, and not exercise; all contributors to an unhealthy heart.  Often times being unemployed can create a downward spiraling effect both physically and emotionally.

Having a job gives us a sense of purpose here on earth.  Having that responsibility allows us to plug into society and reap the benefits of our work.  Many people dream of not having a job to go to, but deep down we all desire to be good at doing something.  I think it’s this deep down desire that keeps our health and mind in sync when we carry it out on a daily basis.  In today’s economy of high unemployment we need to be alert when it comes to our health and factors that could put us at risk.

If you need an overall check up from a doctor in Madison, TN feel free to contact our office or book an appointment online.

Here’s to Your Health

Dr. K Bennett

615-942-9271