Navigation Links
Unemployed at Higher Risk for Heart Attack?

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- More bad news for the jobless: Heart attack risk rises with unemployment, particularly in the first year, new research suggests.

What's more, heart risks associated with repeated joblessness may be on a par with that posed by major cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking or having diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension).

Investigators, who interviewed almost 13,500 older adults over nearly two decades, said the findings appear to apply equally to men and women of all major racial and ethnic groups.

"Our study investigated how different dimensions of job instability were associated with increased risk for a heart attack," said study lead author Matthew Dupre, from the department of community and family medicine at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

"What we found is that risks for heart attack were significantly higher among the unemployed, and that risks increased incrementally with each additional job loss," he added. Voluntary retirement was not associated with a boost in heart health problems.

The strain of multiple job losses packs as great a punch to the heart as chronic disease or longtime negative behaviors, he said.

"For example, although current smoking status is a known risk factor for cardiovascular events, long-term patterns of tobacco use are more powerful predictors of risk," Dupre noted. "Similarly, it is not the onset of hypertension or type 2 diabetes mellitus that increases the risk of heart attack, but instead the strain that these illnesses exact on the cardiovascular system over time. Our findings for employment history largely mirror these protracted and cumulative associations."

For the study, published online Nov. 19 in Archives of Internal Medicine, the authors sifted through bi-yearly responses about employment status provided between 1992 and 2010 by participants in the U.S. Health and Retirement Study who were 51 to 75 years old. Their responses were correlated with heart attack incidence over the same time frame.

Fourteen percent were unemployed at the study's launch. And nearly seven in 10 experienced at least one job loss during the study period, which overlapped with the start of the recession in 2008, when U.S. unemployment approached a 30-year high.

Nearly 8 percent had a heart attack during the study period, and they were more likely to be older, male and white, and also more likely to live in the South.

Low income, low educational attainment, lack of health insurance, being overweight or obese, having high blood pressure or diabetes, a disability, depression, and a sedentary lifestyle also increased the risk of heart attack.

That said, the authors found that independent of all other risk factors, the odds for experiencing a heart attack went up with each additional job loss (up to the level of four or more job losses), when compared with those who never lost a job.

Also, while the first year of unemployment was associated with a boost in heart attack risk, unemployment longer than a year did not seem to further elevate risk.

The data did not include the reasons for job loss or the exact nature of the jobs, and the authors cautioned that both factors could play a role in heart attack risk. Dupre also said further research is needed before a direct cause-and-effect link can be established.

In an editorial accompanying the study, William Gallo of the City University of New York said future investigations should focus on the how's and why's of the association, including whether your stage of life at the time of job loss affects heart risk. The study participants were at or near the end of their careers.

Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said studies have shown that unemployment results in substantial physiologic stress. "This stress has been associated with excess risk for cardiovascular events," he said. "And stress itself leads to a variety of pro-inflammatory responses that can be a causal pathway to increased cardiovascular events."

Some theories abound that people who lose their jobs pay less overall attention to their health, Fonarow added. "Less access to health care among the jobless may also play a role, as could a related excess in drinking, a return to smoking, exercising less, or eating less healthfully," he said. "So the more insight we can get into this the better, because it's obviously a complex situation with many contributing factors."

More information

For more on heart attack risk, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Matthew E. Dupre, Ph.D., Duke Clinical Research Institute and department of community and family medicine, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Nov. 19, 2012, Archives of Internal Medicine, online

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Unemployed Americans face greater risk of mortality: UBC study
2. Herceptin May Carry Higher Heart Risks for Women Than Thought
3. Higher proportion of California children uninsured than in US, USC analysis shows
4. Diabetic patients have higher prevalence of hearing impairment
5. Job stress and mental health problems contribute to higher rates of physician suicide
6. Pregnant Women With Bipolar Disorder May Have Higher Risk of Premature Birth
7. Common Antidepressants Tied to Higher Bleeding Risk in Warfarin Users: Study
8. Heart Failure Patients May Be at Higher Risk for Cancer: Study
9. Higher dietary glycemic load linked to worse colon cancer survival
10. Higher Blood Pressure May Harm the Middle-Aged Brain, Study Finds
11. Redheads May Face Higher Risk of Melanoma, Even Without Sun Exposure
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Unemployed at Higher Risk for Heart Attack?
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... With Thanksgiving right ... is sharing safety tips to help protect your family and vehicle. , According to ... the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Amica is sharing the following safety tips from the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Abington, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... announce that it has been designated an Aetna Institute of Quality® Bariatric Surgery ... information about the quality and cost of health care services available to its ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... award for its exceptional customer service: the TrustDale certification. The award recognizes good ... Baltimore stone honing , tile and grout, and hard surface restoration company ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Autism Speaks, ... the global movement driven by social media and the generosity of people around the ... encourage their social media networks to give – and share the personal stories behind ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... her life, Don Peck’s mother wondered if she was a descendant of Samuel Fuller, a ... a 25-year search for information, Don and his aunt discovered that she was not, in ... out, it was Don’s father who was descended from not one, but four passengers on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015   HeartWare International, Inc . ... miniaturized circulatory support technologies that are revolutionizing the treatment ... Chief Executive Officer Doug Godshall is scheduled ... Annual Healthcare Conference on December 1, 2015 at 3:00 ... in New York . ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... BERN, Switzerland , November 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Biomedical Engineering Research of the University of ... Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition of the Bern University Hospital ... exclusive collaboration to develop a novel generation artificial pancreas. ... delivery of insulin for diabetic patients with the unequalled ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 F1000Workspace - a research ... it was launched just six months ago. --> ... platform for scientists - since it was launched just six ... loaded on to F1000Workspace - a research collaboration, ... was launched just six months ago. --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: