Unemployment a killer

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Ricter, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Ricter



    Does the mind really have this much power over us?

    "Work isn't always a picnic, but unemployment is a killer
    By Darah Hansen 5 Apr 2011
    Filed under: Stony Brook University, McGill University, National Institutes of Health, Eran Shor

    For those working stiffs who think it might be nice to have a break from the grind for a while, it's probably worth considering this latest academic study before making any rash decisions.

    Research by McGill Sociology professor Eran Shor, in collaboration with Stony Brook University, suggests that, far from being relaxing, unemployment actually increases our risk of dying prematurely by a whopping 63 per cent compared to those with jobs.

    Shor, whose research was funded through the National Institutes of Health, reached this conclusion after studying existing research covering 20 million people in 15 (mainly western) countries over the last 40 years.

    It doesn't help to live in a country with a better health-care system either. Indeed, the correlation between unemployment and a higher risk of death was the same in all countries covered by the study.

    Having preexisting health conditions, such as diabetes or heart problems, also didn't make a difference, "suggesting that the unemployment-mortality relationship is quite likely a causal one," Shor said in a media release issued by McGill earlier this week.

    "This probably has to do with unemployment causing stress and negatively affecting one's socioeconomic status, which in turn leads to poorer health and higher mortality rates."

    The risk to men is greater than it is to women -- 78 per cent vs 37 per cent -- and is particularly high for those who are under the age of 50.

    "We suspect that even today, not having a job is more stressful for men than for women," Shor said. "When a man loses his job, it still often means that the family will become poorer and suffer in various ways, which in turn can have a huge impact on a man's health by leading to both increased smoking, drinking or eating and by reducing the availability of healthy nutrition and health care services."

    Shor concluded that public-health initiatives could target unemployed people for more aggressive cardiovascular screening and interventions aimed at reducing risk-taking behaviours."

    People, especially young men, should be able to "buck up" and tough it out until they find (or make) work, shouldn't they? What's really killing men in this situation is a character flaw.