COVID-19 unemployment may bring increased risk of heart disease

first_imgCOVID-19 unemployment may bring increased risk of heart disease Dr Nhung Nghiem.The COVID-19 pandemic-induced recession and rising unemployment may increase the occurrence of heart disease in New Zealand, particularly in middle-aged men.Dr Nhung Nghiem, an economist and modeller from the University of Otago, Wellington, and her colleagues, Dr Anja Mizdrak and Professor Nick Wilson, analysed research papers published since 2000 on the association between unemployment and economic crises, and heart disease.Most of the studies found that increases in unemployment were connected with an increase in heart disease and death, especially for middle-aged men. The evidence also showed an association between chronic psychosocial stress and high blood pressure, a known risk factor for heart disease.Dr Anja Mizdrak“It is clear that involuntary unemployment causes stress and forces most people to lower their standard of living. Being in a less financially secure position and living in a deprived area are also risk factors for heart disease.”She says the wage subsidies and job creation programmes introduced by the New Zealand Government in response to the pandemic have been positive moves – but more might need to be done to prevent unemployment rising further.Dr Mizdrak says the Government could minimise the impact rising unemployment is having on heart disease by reducing other key risk factors for the condition.“The Government could accelerate moves to make New Zealand smoke-free by 2025, introduce regulations to reduce the level of salt and saturated fat in processed food and improve the uptake of preventive medications, including cholesterol-lowering statins and treatments for high blood pressure.”Professor Nick Wilson.Dr Nghiem says heart disease disproportionately affects Māori, Pacific, South Asian peoples and low-income New Zealanders.“Māori and Pacific peoples are also over represented in the groups who are on low incomes and in occupations vulnerable to economic shocks that trigger unemployment.”Dr Mizdrak comments: “The Government needs to address both unemployment and heart disease if they are to reduce health inequities in this country.”The research paper, ‘Increased unemployment from the COVID-19 pandemic, what might be the adverse impacts on cardiovascular disease in Aotearoa/New Zealand and how might this be prevented?’ is published in the New Zealand Medical Journal. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:blood, cardiovascular, chronic, covid-19, disease, Government, heart, heart disease, Impact, New Zealand, pacific, Professor, research, university, University of Otago, Wellingtonlast_img read more