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Psychother Psychosom. 1991;55(2-4):76-80.

Neuroendocrine and immunologic effects of unemployment and job insecurity.

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  • 1Department of Stress Research, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


We prospectively followed a cohort of 354 blue-collar men and women, some of whom lost their jobs. Results show marked effects during the anticipatory and early unemployment phase on mental well-being, serum cortisol, prolactin, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and phytohemagglutinin reactivity of lymphocytes. Most of these changes appear to be of short-term duration. However, changes in cardiovascular risk factors are observed at least 2 years following the loss of one's job. Coping style appears to be a major determinant whether or not and how people will react to unemployment.

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