Joblessness May Raise Heart Attack Risk

heart-monitorA study by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) found that unemployment not only damages your finances, it may ruin your health as well.

After reviewing data on 13,000 men and women between the ages of 51 and 75, the NIA found a correlation between job losses and heart attacks, the Associated Press noted.

Almost 70% of the people in the study had lost one job between the years 1992 and 2010, while about 10% had experienced at least four periods of joblessness. Retirement was not considered unemployment.

Study participants who were unemployed once had a 22% greater chance of suffering a heart attack compared to those who had remained employed during the period. Participants who had experienced at least four periods of unemployment showed a 60% greater chance of having a heart attack, compared to those who hadn’t lost a job.

While the study suggests a link between stress due to unemployment and heart problems, researchers noted that the data used in the study had limitations. Some of the participants already suffered from high blood pressure and obesity — conditions linked to heart attacks — and the data did not disclose the reason for job losses.

One researcher noted that people who voluntarily left their jobs probably suffered less stress than those who were fired or laid off, and thus had a lower risk of heart attack.

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