Unemployment and a history of job loss may raise the risk for heart attack, a new study suggests.
The risk of heart attack may be highest during the first year of unemployment. And the more jobs a person loses, the higher the risk, the study shows.
The findings are published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Researchers looked at 13,451 adults aged 51 to 75 who took part in the Health and Retirement Study. They were interviewed about employment every two years from 1992 to 2010.
Fourteen percent were unemployed when the study began. Nearly 70% had lost one or more jobs. Slightly more than 35% had been unemployed at some point in their career. The researchers do not know if the unemployed people in the study quit their jobs or were let go.
During the study period, 7.9% had a heart attack.
Compared to those who had not lost a job, people who lost four or more jobs were 63% more likely to have a heart attack. People who lost one job had a 22% increased risk.
Exactly why these people are at greater risk for heart attack is not known.
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SOURCE: WebMD Health News