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Unemployed Heart Failure Patients Face 50 Percent Higher Risk For Death

2 May 2017, 5:32 am EDT By Allan Adamson Tech Times
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Heart failure patients who are unemployed have higher risk for death and rehospitalization compared with their employed counterparts. How can this finding benefit people with the heart condition?

  ( Joe Raedle | Getty Images )

Figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that about 5.7 million adults in the United States have heart failure, half of whom die within five years of diagnosis. Now, a new study has shown that unemployment may be a contributing factor for higher risk of death in heart failure patients.

Unemployment And Odds For Death And Rehospitalization Due To Heart Failure

Findings of a new study, which involved more than 20,000 individuals, have revealed that for those who suffered from heart failure, being unemployed is associated with higher odds of death than having a history of stroke or diabetes. Researchers found evidence linking unemployment and 50 percent higher risk for death in patients with heart failure.

Researchers looked at the risk of death from all causes and repeated hospitalization rates in patients with heart failure while taking account of the patients' employment status.

They found that of the participants between 18 and 60 years old who were hospitalized due to heart failure, 16 percent of those employed died nearly three years later. The rate, however, was nearly twofold in unemployed patients, 31 percent of whom died during the same period.

Of those who were employed, 40 percent returned to the hospital while 42 percent of the unemployed did. After taking into account the gender, age, and education level of the participants, the findings show that unemployed heart failure patients have 12 percent higher risk for hospitalization due to heart failure compared with employed patients.

Based on these findings, the researchers said that in younger heart failure patients, employment status is possibly a predictor of morbidity and mortality.

Study researcher Rasmus Roerth, from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, said the findings suggest that workforce exclusion may be used to identify patients with risk for poor outcomes. The research likewise hints that getting patients back into the workforce may prove beneficial.

"If that was the case, employment status could help to risk stratify young heart failure patients and identify those needing more intensive rehabilitation," Roerth said, explaining that a person's employment status is not just a physical measurement, but also has influence on the quality of life.

Other Unwanted Impacts Of Unemployment

Being unemployed has long been known to have detrimental effects on a person. It has, for instance, been associated with increased likelihood for mental health problems, depression, and suicide.

In a 2015 study, researchers have found that unemployment is responsible for about 45, 000 suicides that occur globally per year. The study, which was published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, also found that the financial crisis that happened in 2008 triggered more people to take their own life than previously estimated.

The number of unemployed people, however, may increase as availability of artificial intelligence and advance machines such as robots and self-driving cars increases.

Computer science expert Moshe Vardi has said that automation has already reduced the number of jobs in the manufacturing sector in the United States. While jobs were slashed below 1950 figures, a double-digit growth rate was seen in the number of industrial robots.

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