Washington: If we believe US researchers, job loss is associated with a 73 percent increase in the probability of death – the equivalent of adding 10 years to a person’s age.
However, this increased death risk affects only a minority of the people who are unemployed.
It is outweighed by health-promoting effects of an economic slowdown that affect the entire population such as a drop in traffic fatalities and reduced atmospheric pollution, they said.
Each percentage-point increase in the individual’s state unemployment rate, researchers found, reduced the hazard of death by nearly nine percent – that is about the equivalent of making a person one year younger.
The increase in the risk of death associated with individual joblessness may be related to stress and depression, Tapia said.
Atmospheric pollution – which strongly increases in economic upturns and diminishes in recession – may be one of several important mechanisms explaining why population mortality tends to decrease when the economy stagnates, he added in the study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.