Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Surprising Effect Of Economic Recessions On Population Health

Date:
August 31, 2009
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Paradoxically, mortality rates during economic recessions in developed countries decline rather than increase, according to a new analysis.

Paradoxically, mortality rates during economic recessions in developed countries decline rather than increase, according to an analysis in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). In poor countries with less than $5000 GDP per capita, economic growth appears to improve health by increasing access to food, clean water and shelter as well as basic health services.

"In terms of business cycles, mortality is procyclical, meaning it goes up with economic expansions and down with contractions, and not countercyclical (the opposite), as expected," writes Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, from the School of Public Health, University of Washington in Seattle, USA.

Studies of wealthy countries show that greater national wealth does not equate with better health for its citizens. "The United States, with the highest GNP per capita in the world, has a lower life expectancy than nearly all the other rich countries and a few poor ones, despite spending half of the world's health care bill," states the author. It also has the highest poverty levels of any wealthy country, with large health disparities and poor health outcomes.

Countries, such as Sweden, with strong social safety nets and strong labour protection see smaller changes in the health of its citizens during recessions.

Studies show that unemployment can be bad for people's health, yet smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and overeating decline during recessions with beneficial impacts on health. Perhaps even more importantly when unemployment rates soar, people have more time for friends and family (especially children) which results in lower mortality.

The current recession represents opportunities. "If we recognize that economic growth may not be good for our health, then we can consider means of reining in the excess wealth... and of redistributing national resources through social spending for the common good," concludes Dr. Bezruchka.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stephen Bezruchka. The effect of economic recession on population health. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2009; 181 (5): 281 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.090553

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Surprising Effect Of Economic Recessions On Population Health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831130045.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2009, August 31). Surprising Effect Of Economic Recessions On Population Health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831130045.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Surprising Effect Of Economic Recessions On Population Health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831130045.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins