Stress is a major factor behind serious cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, and strokes. Unemployment is a harsh reality for some of even the most highly educated people in the world, particularly the United States. Even before the recession that began in 2008, researchers at the Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine at University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany determined that in some cases job loss can literally damage a person’s heart.
Depression, poor eating and sleeping habits, and lack of medical care usually result from prolonged unemployment which can damage all aspects of the physical and mental body. Stress can cause or worsen high blood pressure, particularly in men with families to care for or people of either gender with a family history of cardiac problems.
Stress related to workplace troubles or prolonged unemployment can increase even a healthy person’s risk of having a heart attack by 23 percent, according to the results of a fall 2012 study by the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London. Smoking and obesity remain chief causes of heart attacks. The risk of substance abuse among unemployed people is rather high, especially when untreated depression is a factor. Substance abuse including the use of tobacco or misuse of alcohol increases potential damage to the cardiovascular system. Obesity, which may have existed before unemployment, remains a chief cause of serious heart damage among Americans and Europeans alike.
Whether someone is unemployed or simply frustrated with a stressful job, it is important to practice good sleeping and eating habits. In the long run, poor self-care due to any life situation can cause a heart attack, stroke, or other serious mental and physical health consequences.