Men who lose their jobs at greater risk of dying prematurely

April 4, 2011, McGill University

Research by McGill Sociology Professor Eran Shor, working in collaboration with researchers from Stony Brook University, has revealed that unemployment increases the risk of premature mortality by 63 per cent. Shor reached these conclusions by surveying existing research covering 20 million people in 15 (mainly western) countries, over the last 40 years.

One surprising finding was that, in spite of expectations that a better health-care system might contribute to lower , the correlation between and a higher risk of death was the same in all the countries covered by the study.

The truly groundbreaking aspect of the research is that it suggests that there is a causal relationship between unemployment and a higher risk of death.

"Until now, one of the big questions in the literature has been about whether pre-existing health conditions, such as or heart problems, or behaviours such as smoking, drinking or drug use, lead to both unemployment and a greater risk of death," Shor said. "What's interesting about our work is that we found that preexisting had no effect, suggesting that the unemployment-mortality relationship is quite likely a causal one. This probably has to do with unemployment causing stress and negatively affecting one's , which in turn leads to poorer health and higher mortality rates."

The research also showed that unemployment increases men's more than it does women's mortality risk (78 per cent vs. 37 per cent respectively).The research also showed that there is a much higher correlation between unemployment and mortality for men than for women (78 per cent vs. 37 per cent). The risk of death is particularly high for those who are under the age of 50.

"We suspect that even today, not having a job is more stressful for men than for women." Shor said. "When a man loses his job, it still often means that the family will become poorer and suffer in various ways, which in turn can have a huge impact on a man's health by leading to both increased smoking, drinking or eating and by reducing the availability of healthy nutrition and health care services."

The research suggests that public-health initiatives could target unemployed people for more aggressive cardiovascular screening and interventions aimed at reducing risk-taking behaviours.

More information: For an abstract of the article: www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/02779536

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RobertKarlStonjek
5 / 5 (1) Apr 05, 2011
Manual labourers and unskilled generally have a shorter life expectancy and in modern times, are the most likely to be unable to find employment when the lose their jobs as mature men (40+) (as employers prefer younger stronger workers who they don't have to pay as much.)

This may be a factor in the statistics give.
xznofile
not rated yet Apr 05, 2011
sorry I can't quote a source but I understand that most everybody expires within a few years of loosing the means of social interaction. if the interaction is based on economic worth, it's probably more pronounced because money = power, and that orientation precludes other means whenever it's available, so those other means aren't explored.

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