Study Shows Unemployment Can Be Deadly

Wednesday, Apr 6, 2011  |  Updated 12:31 PM CDT
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If being unemployed wasn't enough of a bummer, a new study says those without a job -- especially men -- are more likely to die early.

Using research from the past 40 years of 20 million people, researchers at McGill and Stonybrook  Universities found that unemployment increases the risk of premature mortality by 63%. Men are at an even greater risk: male were 40% more likely to die over women, with the highest percentages at ages under 50.

"In our society, men are more expected to have a job and bring home a salary," researcher and McGill professor Eran Shor told told LiveScience. "When they can't do that, it is very stressful."

That sort of anxiety and depression can lead to a number unhealthy habits, like eating boxes of cookies just because it's in the kitchen, or watching hours of Law & Order reruns instead of going to the gym, despite the extra time to cook or exercise.

"They have to be mindful of the likelihood that they could fall into an unhealthy lifestyle," Cincinati psychologist Kenneth Manges told LiveScience about the jobless, explaining that habits like smoking and excess drinking are easy for the unemployed to pick up.

Additionally, unemployed people are less likely to have good healthcare, making it more difficult to be treated for sickness.

Selected Reading: LiveScience, New York Magazine, Gawker

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