Online Program

Health in hard times: Economic insecurity and cardiovascular incidence since the great recession in 3 countries

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:50 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.

Ashley Fox, PhD, MA, Department of Health Evidence and Policy, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Bernadette Boden-Albala, MPH, DrPH, Division of Social Epidemiology, Department of Health Evidence and Policy and Neurology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
The Great Recession has produced the worst and most sustained rates of unemployment since the Great Depression. The effects of the recession have been compounded by wealth loss and a massive foreclosure crisis producing widespread economic insecurity. Although the financial crisis has spread globally, different countries have been differentially impacted by unemployment and economic insecurity. Germany's economy has been resilient in spite of a housing market crisis and unemployment rates have actually decreased since 2008. Spain has seen a massive increase in unemployment as a result of its sovereign debt crisis. Previous studies have demonstrated a robust association between unemployment and cardiovascular risk. We explore the impact of the economic crisis on heart attack incidence in 3 countries- U.S., Spain and Germany before and during the Great Recession (2006-2010) using panel data of 50-65 year olds from two comparable surveys- the US Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) and the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). We find that all three countries saw an increase in heart attack incidence, but the increase was steeper in Spain and the U.S. respectively compared with Germany. Further research will explore whether this rate of increase is steeper than previous time points and whether the rate of change differs between adults age 65+ and age 50-65. Research on how differences in policy responses to the Great Recession are causally related to rates of cardiovascular disease risk can offer insight into potential policy levers to reduce the human impact of economic crises.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Compare heart attack rates in countries that have been differentially impacted by the Great Recession Evaluate the contribution of the economic insecurity stemming from the Great Recession on changing rates of heart attack incidence. Analyze the relationship between social risk protection policies, stress and health outcomes

Keyword(s): Economic Analysis, Heart Disease

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary author of this work, which is the result of preliminary analysis towards a grant submission on this topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.