Losing your job late in life more than doubles your risk of heart attacks and strokes, according to new research.
A 10-year study of 4,300 American workers over the age of 50 showed those who had been sacked or made redundant had more than double the chance of a heart attack or stroke compared with those still in work.
Researchers say the huge difference is caused by the stress of losing being laid off near the end of their careers.
Researchers from Yale University analysed data from the national health and retirement survey in the US, which began in 1992 and involved more than 12,500 people from nearly 8,000 households, reports Life Style Extra.
According to Times Online, scientists said that the “exceptional stress” of losing a job could take a marked toll of health and added that doctors and policy-makers should be aware of the effects.
William Gallo, whose study at Yale University involved more than 4,000 people, said: “Late-career job loss is an exceptionally stressful experience, with the potential for provoking numerous undesirable outcomes.”
Similarly, 140 had a stroke, 33 of whom were jobless. In 13 cases, the person suffered the stroke after losing their job.
An analysis of the figures showed that those who had been made redundant over the age of 50 were more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke, compared with those who were still in work.
The figures still stood even after other influential factors were taken into account, such as diabetes, smoking, obesity and high blood pressure.
"For many individuals, late career job loss is an exceptionally stressful experience with the potential for provoking numerous outcomes, including heart attacks and stroke", said the researchers from Yale University School of Medicine.
Based on these results, they added, the true costs of unemployment 'exceed the obvious economic costs and include substantial health consequences as well', informs Irish Health.
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