Monday, January 14, 2013

Great Recession Contributed to Rise in Heart Attacks, Study Suggests

Has the Great Recession of the past few years, which as taken a toll on so many phases of life in the U.S., contributed to heart attacks among Americans? Quite possibly, a study headed by Matthew Dupre, Ph.D., of Duke University and reported in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests. Dupre and his colleagues followed more than 13,000 Americans aged 51 to 75 from 1992 to 2010. (The recession started in 2008). The researchers found that heart attacks occurred significantly more often among unemployed subjects than among employed ones and that the risk increased incrementally from experiencing one job loss to experiencing four job losses, even when socioeconomic factors, behavioral risk factors, and various clinical factors were considered.

The psychological stress of carrying debt can also adversely impact Americans' health, a study reported in the Journal of Aging and Health suggests. People who were carrying high levels of debt had more anxiety, depression, and anger than nondebtors did, even when potentially confounding variables such as age, gender, education, and occupational status were included in the analysis. For more information about this study, see Psychiatric News. In addition, for a review of the complex clinical interaction of mental health and medical illness, see The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychosomatic Medicine: Psychiatric Care of the Medically Ill, Second Edition.

(Image: Tom Wang/


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