Loss of job can make you ill


Washington : Losing your job can make you ill, says a new study conducted in this age of pink slips.

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If you do manage to find a new job quickly, you still face a heightened risk of developing hypertension, heart disease, heart attack, stroke or diabetes, stemming from the early job loss.

“In today’s economy, job loss can happen to anybody,” said Kate Strully, who conducted the research at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“We need to be aware of the health consequences of losing our jobs and do what we can to alleviate the negative effects,” said Strully.

Workers in poor health have a 40 percent increase in the odds of being laid off or fired, but Strully’s findings go beyond sicker people being more likely to lose their jobs.

She finds that “job churning”, defined as high rates of job loss but low unemployment, has negative health consequences for workers who were not already sick.

For those who lost their job – white or blue collar – through no fault of their own, such as an establishment closure, the odds of reporting fair or poor health increased by 54 percent, and among respondents with no pre-existing health conditions, it increased the odds of a new health condition by 83 percent.

Even when workers became re-employed, those workers had an increased risk of new stress-related health conditions, said a Harvard release.

The study was based on data from US Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative survey from 1999, 2001 and 2003.

The study looked at establishment closures that included a range of occupations, including managerial or professional positions (30 percent displacement), sales, clerical and craft jobs, (33 percent displacement), a machine operator jobs (20 percent displacement), and service positions (13 percent displacement).

The study was published in Friday’s edition of Demography.