Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

The health effects of US unemployment insurance policy: does income from unemployment benefits prevent cardiovascular disease?

Walter, Stefan, Glymour, Maria and Avendano, Mauricio (2014) The health effects of US unemployment insurance policy: does income from unemployment benefits prevent cardiovascular disease? PLOS One, 9 (7). e101193. ISSN 1932-6203

[img]
Preview
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (382Kb) | Preview

Abstract

Objective: Previous studies suggest that unemployment predicts increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, but whether unemployment insurance programs mitigate this risk has not been assessed. Exploiting US state variations in unemployment insurance benefit programs, we tested the hypothesis that more generous benefits reduce CVD risk. Methods: Cohort data came from 16,108 participants in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) aged 50-65 at baseline interviewed from 1992 to 2010. Data on first and recurrent CVD diagnosis assessed through biennial interviews were linked to the generosity of unemployment benefit programmes in each state and year. Using state fixed-effect models, we assessed whether state changes in the generosity of unemployment benefits predicted CVD risk. Results: States with higher unemployment benefits had lower incidence of CVD, so that a 1% increase in benefits was associated with 18% lower odds of CVD (OR:0.82, 95%-CI:0.71-0.94). This association remained after introducing US census regional division fixed effects, but disappeared after introducing state fixed effects (OR:1.02, 95%-CI:0.79-1.31). This was consistent with the fact that unemployment was not associated with CVD risk in state-fixed effect models. Conclusion: Although states with more generous unemployment benefits had lower CVD incidence, this appeared to be due to confounding by state-level characteristics. Possible explanations are the lack of short-term effects of unemployment on CVD risk. Future studies should assess whether benefits at earlier stages of the life-course influence long-term risk of CVD.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.plosone.org/
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors © CC
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Funders: Robert Wood Johnsons
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2014 11:28
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/58516/

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics