Redundancy late in life doubles chances of having heart attack

Losing your job late in your career doubles your chances of having a heart attack or stroke, according to research.

Researchers in the US carried out a health and retirement survey of more than 12,500 people from almost 8,000 households 10 years ago.

A decade later the researchers returned to the respondents and found that 202 people had had a heart attack, of which 23 occurred in those who were jobless, and after they had been made redundant.

Similarly, 140 people had a stroke, of which 33 occurred in the jobless group, with 13 occurring after the job loss.

Analysis of the figures showed that those who had been made redundant over the age of 50 were more then twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke compared with those who were still in work.

“For many individuals, late career job loss is an exceptionally stressful experience with the potential for provoking numerous undesirable outcomes, including [heart attacks and stroke],” the authors at Yale University of Medicine concluded. “Based on our results, the true costs of unemployment exceed the obvious economic costs and include substantial health consequences as well.”

The research was published in the UK by the British Medical Association’s Occupational and Environmental Medicine magazine.

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