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The impact of involuntary job loss on subsequent alcohol consumption by older workers: findings from the health and retirement survey.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8034, USA.



To estimate the effect of involuntary job loss on subsequent alcohol consumption by older workers in the United States.


Using longitudinal data from the 1992 and 1994 waves of the Health and Retirement Survey, the authors estimated multivariate models to assess the impact of involuntary job loss on subsequent alcohol use. Two outcomes were investigated: reported daily alcohol consumption and onset of drinking. The analysis sample included 207 workers who experienced involuntary job loss between survey dates and a comparison group of 2,866 continuously employed workers.


After baseline alcohol consumption and a variety of socioeconomic and illness-related covariates were controlled, involuntary job loss was not associated (p>.05) with number of daily drinks consumed at follow-up. However, among those who did not consume alcohol at baseline, individuals who suffered involuntary job loss were twice as likely as continuously employed individuals to start drinking by follow-up (OR = 2.01; CI = 1.06-3.80). The majority of those who began drinking at follow-up reported drinking less than 1 drink per day.


The findings provide evidence of a significant relationship between job loss and subsequent alcohol use among baseline nondrinkers. However, the magnitude of the changes in drinking was quite modest.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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