Heart attack risk goes up when income goes down

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(Best Syndication News) - Being unemployed can increase the risk for having an acute myocardial infarction, which is commonly known as a heart attack. The risk is increased if the person is unemployed, suffered multiple job losses, and has short times without work. The study results were published in the JAMA Network publication, Online First by Archives of Internal Medicine.

The stress of losing a job is evident for many adults in the United States. The researchers wanted to see if there was a relationship between job loss and an increased risk for heart attacks.

Matthew E. Dupre, Ph.D., and colleagues from Duke University, Durham, N.C., studied information collected on 13,451 adults living in the United States between the ages of 51 and 75 years (median age 62 years old). The information came from the Health and Retirement Study with biennial follow-up interviews conducted between 1992 and 2010.

Based on the information, the researchers determined that the increased risk for heart attack was at its highest within the first year after losing the job. They also found that suffering a succession of job losses with collective amounts of time being unemployed contributed to an increased risk for heart attack.

The researchers identified 1,061 heart attack events, which was 7.9 percent of the people investigated. Of the people who had the heart attack, 14 percent had been unemployed at baseline, and 69.7 percent suffered one or more cumulative job losses. Thirty-five percent of the people who had a heart attack had been unemployed at some time.

The study points out that the risk from multiple job losses is similar to other risk factors such as type-2 diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

Ref: Arch Intern Med. Published online November 19, 2012. doi:10.1001/.jamainternmed.2013.1835.

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