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Soc Sci Med. 1991;32(4):419-23.

Long-term unemployment and mortality in Sweden, 1980-1986.

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Psychosocial Research Unit, Nacka, Sweden.


The mortality of a cohort of long-term unemployed men and women in Sweden (N = 28,846) was followed up during the period 1980-1986. Compared to a population of employed, the total mortality rate ratios (with 95% confidence limit) were 1.37 (1.22-1.53); for men 1.61 (1.42-1.84) and for women 1.14 (0.91-1.42). The young/middle-aged men had about four times higher relative mortality than all men. Suicide and alcohol-related deaths could not explain the excess mortality among these men. It is discussed whether the high risks for young/middle-aged men could be an effect of mental disturbances due to unemployment followed by high psycho-social stress. The effect of employment status on social and psychological identity may be greater for men than for women, for whom there may be more compensatory factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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