The Straits Times
Published on Nov 21, 2012

Heart attacks more common among unemployed: Study


NEW YORK (REUTERS) - People who have recently lost their jobs are more likely to suffer a heart attack than their employed peers, in some cases running a risk as high as 35 per cent, according to a United States study.

Researchers, whose results appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that each successive job loss was tied to a higher chance of heart problems among more than 13,000 older adults, although it's not clear how unemployment itself might have caused the extra heart attacks.

A combination of stress, worsening lifestyle and poor management of chronic conditions without health insurance may be to blame, said Professor Matthew Dupre, the lead researcher from the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, North Carolina.

"Those without a job may be unable to control their high blood pressure or to manage their diabetes (with their usual medication), or rates of smoking may be exacerbated." But it's still too early to know for sure what's behind the link, he said, which means it's also too early to recommend ways to ward off heart problems among the recently-unemployed.