Did You Lose Your Job? It Could Make You Sick, According to Researchers

It’s no secret that a growing number of Americans today are getting the pink slip and finding themselves out of a j-o-b. As our economy continues to regain its balance, thousands of people are out of work and seeking new employment. Researchers say “Beware.” Because workers who face job loss are at greater risk of developing heart problems, including stroke and high blood pressure, along with diabetes.

The study, which appeared in the May 8 issue of the journal Demography, was conducted by researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Who’s at greater risk of having health problems after getting fired from a job?  According to the study: those who are already struggling with their health have a 40 percent increased risk. Also, employees who lost their jobs through no fault of their own are also likely to report declining health, according to a statement.

“As we consider ways to improve health in America during a time of economic recession and rising unemployment, it is critical that we look beyond health care reform to understand the tremendous impact that factors like job loss have on our health,” said David R. Williams, Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, in a statement.

“Where and how we live, work, learn and play have a greater impact on how healthy we are than the health care we receive,” said Williams, who is also Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University and staff director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America.