Employment Status Linked to Heart Failure Mortality

Illustration of the word "Unemployement"

Environmental and social factors can strongly impact the progression and outcomes of heart disease. Researchers at the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark recently found that unemployed people with heart failure are 50% more likely to die from the condition than employed people.

The study compared the risks of death from all causes and repeated heart failure hospitalization rates in patients with the condition, while noting their employment status. Participants were patients from ages 18 to 60 who were initially hospitalized for heart failure between 1997 and 2012. Of the 21,455 subjects, 11,600 were employed.

During an average follow-up of just under three years, 16%of employed patients and 31%of unemployed patients died, while 40%of employed and 42%of unemployed patients returned to the hospital for heart failure. After adjusting for age, sex, education level and comorbidities, the study indicated that heart failure patients unemployed at baseline had a 50% increased risk of death and 12% increased risk of re-hospitalization for heart failure compared to those who were employed.

“Employment status is more than just a physical measurement as it also has an influence on quality of life, and has been shown to be important for mental health and wellbeing,” said the study’s lead author Rasmus Roerth, MD, in a press release. “Thus, both from a physical and psychological point of view it makes sense to include employment status in the evaluation of young heart failure patients’ prognosis.”

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