A person’s risk of heart attack increases incrementally, and may be elevated within the first year of unemployment. Matthew E. Dupre, from Duke University (North Carolina, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected from 13,451 participants in the Health and Retirement Study, median age 62 years.

The risks for AMI were significantly higher among the unemployed, with the risks increasing incrementally from one job loss to four or more cumulative job losses, and were elevated within the first year of unemployment. The study authors warn that: “Unemployment status, multiple job losses, and short periods without work are all significant risk factors for acute cardiovascular events.”


  1. Matthew E. Dupre, Linda K. George, Guangya Liu, Eric D. Peterson. “The Cumulative Effect of Unemployment on Risks for Acute Myocardial Infarction.” Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(22):1731-1737.