It appears as if a team of researchers took it upon themselves to prove what most people probably already know: Unemployment and a history of job loss may raise your risk for heart attack.
Researchers followed 13,451 adults aged 51-75 from 1992-2010 for the Health and Retirement Study. The participants were interviewed about employment every two years from 1992-2010. During the study period, 7.9% of the participants had a heart attack. People who lost four or more jobs were 63% more likely to have a heart attack. People who lost one job had a 22% increased risk. The specific factor outlining why these people are at greater risk for heart attack is unknown, but one can assume the stress of not having financial security during unemployment could be a primary factor.
Researchers also found that the risk of heart attack may be highest during the first year of unemployment, and the more jobs a person loses, the higher the risk. ”The risks of heart attack associated with multiple job losses were of the magnitude of other established risk factors, such as smoking, hypertension, and diabetes,” says study researcher and assistant professor of medicine at Duke University, Dr. Matthew E. Dupre.
The findings are published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.