"Unemployment & Health,” a new report from the Snohomish Health District, indicates that Snohomish County residents who are unemployed report more days of poor health in a month, less satisfaction with their lives, and greater likelihood of smoking, compared with people who have jobs. The report is based on local data collected between 2004 and 2008 from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey.
“In general, economic uncertainty leads to stress, which by itself can directly affect health,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, Health Officer and Director of the Snohomish Health District. “Stress also leads people to engage in risky health behaviors, such as drinking and smoking. Long-term economic problems mean the prevalence of these behaviors can be expected to increase.”
Among the key findings in “Unemployment & Health”:
• People who were unemployed were significantly younger than people who had jobs; young people are more likely to engage in risky behaviors associated with youth, such as binge drinking
• Adults who had not completed high school were more than twice as likely to be unemployed as other adults
• Only 60% of unemployed persons had health insurance
• People unemployed for at least one year reported 11 poor-health days per month, compared with 5 poor-health days for job holders
• 15% of the unemployed reported they were “somewhat” or “very dissatisfied” with life
• 39% of persons unemployed at least one year smoke cigarettes, compared with 18% of job holders
The report is accessible online at www.snohd.org/snoHealthStats.
Celebrating our 50th year of service in 2009, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health District at www.snohd.org