Unemployment pre-dates symptoms of depression and anxiety resulting in medical consultation in young men.
BACKGROUND: There is evidence to support a link between unemployment and lower levels of psychological well-being, but debate continues as to whether unemployment results in psychological morbidity, or whether the association is due to those who are more vulnerable to mental illness becoming unemployed. Here we assess the effect of recent and accumulated unemployment in young men on the risk of developing depression and anxiety leading to medical consultation. Adjustment was made for a measure of pre-existing tendency to depression, behavioural maladjustment, social class, qualifications and region of residence. METHODS: Some 3241 men from the National Child Development Study (the 1958 British birth cohort) with data from birth to age 33 years, collected at birth and ages 7, 11, 16, 23 and 33 years were used in these analyses. The outcome measure was onset age of anxiety or depression between ages 24 and 33 years, that resulted in consultation with a GP or a specialist. This was used in Cox proportional hazards models where two measures of unemployment were modelled as time varying covariates. Pre-existing tendency to depression was measured by the Malaise Inventory prior to the experience of unemployment at age 23 years. Two measures of unemployment were investigated: any unemployment in the year prior to onset (recent unemployment) and all accumulated unemployment prior to onset (divided into four categories: 0, 1-12, 13-36 and 37+ months of unemployment). RESULTS: After adjustment for potential confounding factors including pre-existing tendency to depression, the relative risk (RR) for developing symptoms resulting in consultation was 2.10 (95% CI: 1.21-3.63), when those who were unemployed in the year prior to onset were compared with those who were not. Accumulated unemployment was not statistically significantly related to onset of symptoms in all men after adjustment for the potential confounding factors: an RR of 1.63 (95% CI: 0.95-2.79) for men with 37+ months of accumulated unemployment when compared with none. However, exclusion of men with a pre-existing tendency to depression indicated by the Malaise Inventory score, increased the RR to 2.30 (95% CI: 1.44-3.65) for recent unemployment and 2.04 (95% CI: 1.17-3.54) for 37+ months of accumulated unemployment when compared with none. CONCLUSIONS: Unemployment is a risk factor for psychological symptoms of depression requiring medical attention, even in those men without previous psychological vulnerability. (+info)
Predictors and consequences of unemployment in construction and forest work during a 5-year follow-up.
OBJECTIVES: The study investigated whether indicators of health, work conditions, or life-style predict subsequent unemployment and also the unemployment consequences related to health or life-style. METHODS: A questionnaire was administered to 781 male construction and 877 male forest workers (aged 20-49 years and working at the beginning of the study) in 1989 and 1994. Employment status during follow-up was ranked into the following 4 categories according to the employment status and unemployment time: continuously employed, re-employed, short-term (< or = 24 months) unemployed and long-term (> or =24 months) unemployed. RESULTS: The following base-line factors were associated with long-term unemployment during follow-up among the construction workers: age >40 years, poor subjective health, smoking, frequent heavy use of alcohol, low job satisfaction, marital status (single), and unemployment during the year preceding the initial survey. Among the forest workers, age >40 years, frequent stress symptoms, and preceding unemployment entered the model. In addition smoking predicted unemployment among the forest workers with no preceding unemployment. The proportion of regular smokers decreased among the long-term unemployed. Physical exercise was more frequent at the time of follow-up than it was initially, particularly among the unemployed. Stress symptoms increased among the construction workers, but musculoskeletal symptoms decreased significantly among the long-term unemployed. Among the forest workers stress symptoms decreased among the continuously employed and re-employed persons, but musculoskeletal symptoms decreased significantly for them all. CONCLUSIONS: Unemployment among construction workers is to some extent dependent on life-style, health, and job satisfaction in addition to age, marital status, and unemployment history. For forest workers, unemployment is less determined by individual factors. Changes in distress and musculoskeletal symptoms are dependent on employment, particularly among construction workers. (+info)
Social differences of very preterm birth in Europe: interaction with obstetric history. Europop Group.
Social differences of very preterm birth (22-32 completed weeks of amenorrhea) were studied using data from a large case-control survey in Europe between 1994 and 1997; 1,675 very preterm births and 7,965 full-term births were included. The relation between social factors and very preterm birth was studied according to obstetric history and the mode of delivery onset. Very preterm birth was significantly related to low educational level among women with no previous adverse pregnancy outcome (odds ratio (OR) = 2.67, 95 percent confidence interval (CI) 1.66-4.28) and among primigravid women and those with previous first-trimester abortion (OR = 2.01, 95 percent CI 1.56-2.58). In this group, unemployment of all household members was associated with a double risk of very preterm birth. No significant association between very preterm birth and socioeconomic status was observed among women with previous second-trimester abortion or preterm birth. Socioeconomic indicators remained significantly associated with both spontaneous and induced very preterm births among women with no previous late fetal loss or preterm birth. The results are consistent with social factors affecting the risk of very preterm birth, but the relation differs according to obstetric history. (+info)
Unemployment and foster home placements: estimating the net effect of provocation and inhibition.
OBJECTIVES: This study sought, first, to explain and reconcile the provocation and inhibition theories of the effect of rising unemployment on the incidence of antisocial behavior. Second, it tested the hypothesis, implied by the provocation and inhibition theories, that the relationship between unemployment and foster home placements forms an inverted "U." METHODS: The hypothesis was tested with data from California for 137 months beginning in February 1984. RESULTS: Findings showed that the hypothesis was supported. CONCLUSIONS: Rising joblessness increases the incidence of foster home placements among families that lose jobs or income. Levels of joblessness that threaten workers who remain employed, however, inhibit antisocial behavior and reduce the incidence of foster home placements. This means that accounting for the social costs of unemployment is more complicated than assumed under the provocation theory. (+info)
Premature mortality in the United States: the roles of geographic area, socioeconomic status, household type, and availability of medical care.
OBJECTIVES: This study examined premature mortality by county in the United States and assessed its association with metro/urban/rural geographic location, socioeconomic status, household type, and availability of medical care. METHODS: Age-adjusted years of potential life lost before 75 years of age were calculated and mapped by county. Predictors of premature mortality were determined by multiple regression analysis. RESULTS: Premature mortality was greatest in rural counties in the Southeast and Southwest. In a model predicting 55% of variation across counties, community structure factors explained more than availability of medical care. The proportions of female-headed households and Black populations were the strongest predictors, followed by variables measuring low education, American Indian population, and chronic unemployment. Greater availability of generalist physicians predicted fewer years of life lost in metropolitan counties but more in rural counties. CONCLUSIONS: Community structure factors statistically explain much of the variation in premature mortality. The degree to which premature mortality is predicted by percentage of female-headed households is important for policy-making and delivery of medical care. The relationships described argue strongly for broadening the biomedical model. (+info)
Trends in medical employment: persistent imbalances in urban Mexico.
OBJECTIVES: This study examined the extreme medical unemployment and underemployment in the urban areas of Mexico. The conceptual and methodological approach may be relevant to many countries that have experienced substantial increases in the supply of physicians during the last decades. METHODS: On the basis of 2 surveys carried out in 1986 and 1993, the study analyzed the performance of physicians in the labor market as a function of ascription variables (social origin and gender), achievement variables (quality of medical education and specialty studies), and contextual variables (educational generation). RESULTS: The study reveals, despite some improvement, persistently high levels of open unemployment, qualitative underemployment (i.e., work in activities completely outside of medicine), and quantitative underemployment (i.e., work in medical activities but with very low levels of productivity and remuneration). The growing proportion of female doctors presents new challenges, because they are more likely than men to be unemployed and underemployed. CONCLUSIONS: While corrective policies can have a positive impact, it is clear that decisions regarding physician supply must be carefully considered, because they have long-lasting effects. An area deserving special attention is the improvement of professional opportunities for female doctors. (+info)
Unemployment, depression, and health: a look at the African-American community.
OBJECTIVES: While the unemployment rate of African-American people is more than twice that of the white population, the research on the impact of unemployment on the health of this population is scarce. This study analysed the impact of unemployment on depression and well being among African-American people, and the factors associated with well being. METHODS: Logistic and multiple regression models were used to analyse panel data collected in the National Survey of Families and Households 1987-1992. African-American (1369) and white (6660) respondents were analysed separately. Outcome variables included an index of depression and self reported health status. MAIN FINDINGS: Differences between employment and unemployment groups were less significant for African-Americans than for the white population in predicting depression and well being. Health enhancing factors such as education and wealth were significantly associated with better health and lower depression indices among the white population but not consistently so among African-Americans. Satisfaction with personal relationships was the strongest predictor of well being for both groups. CONCLUSION: Research should focus on the special needs and circumstances of African-Americans, because protective factors may not have the same impact in different groups of the population. (+info)
The association of body mass index with social and economic disadvantage in women and men.
BACKGROUND: Although an inverse relationship between socioeconomic status and body mass index (BMI) is well documented, broad population studies focusing on the association between BMI and various forms of disadvantage such as unemployment, low income or social isolation are rare. METHODS: A nationwide, representative sample of 25-64-year-old Finnish subjects (n = 6016) was classified according to their BMI into four groups: 'thin' (BMI < 20), 'normal' (BMI 20-24.9), 'overweight' (BMI 25-29.9) and 'obese' (BMI > or = 30). Multivariable analyses using logistic regression were conducted with this BMI-grouping as an independent variable to predict social and economic disadvantage, controlling simultaneously for age, educational attainment, region of residence, and limiting long-standing illness. RESULTS: In women, overweight was associated with current unemployment and obesity with long-term unemployment as well as absence of close friends outside the family circle. Both overweight and obesity were associated with low individual earnings. Obese women were also most likely to have low household disposable and individual incomes; a similar pattern was seen among thin women. A small subgroup of thin men were socially and economically disadvantaged with all our indicators whereas excess body weight was not problematic for men. CONCLUSIONS: Deviant body weight is associated with social and economic disadvantage in a gender-specific and partly curvilinear way. In particular, obese women face multiple social and economic disadvantage. (+info)