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The (Fresh) Heartbreak of Unemployment

Lose your job and you could risk losing a lot more, new research warns.

Heart attacks are more common among the unemployed, a study published in the latest issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine reports. People who have recently lost their livelihoods are as much as 35 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than their more gainfully employed contemporaries, this American research reports.

What’s more, it seems that the more blows a person takes to his employed self, the more likely he’ll take one to his pulmonary trunk. In the 13,000 older adults the scientists analyzed for this report, those who had experienced successive job losses were at higher risk for heart troubles with each new defeat.

The research has yet to be parsed out into meaningful interpretation, but the lead investigator has speculated that this reality may be a result of a combination of forces, including stress, a deteriorating lifestyle and the physical fallout an absence of health insurance delivers. These folks might up their smoking rates, say, or let their oversight of chronic conditions slip.

The relationship between health and unemployment has long been acknowledged.

More than three years ago, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health determined that workers who’d lost their jobs through no fault of their own were twice as likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease in the year-and-a-half following the event. Only six percent of people with steady employment over the study period were plagued by new health conditions, while 10 percent of those who’d lost their jobs over the same stretch developed new medical woes. And that was the case even if they found new employment in the meantime.

The takeaway from all of this for the souls who’ve recently joined the ranks of the unemployed? You need to concern yourself with not only the continued health of your bank account, but of your ticker, as well.

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