Losing Your Job Can Take Your Breath Away

Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Job loss fears may increase the risk of developing asthma for the first time, according to research in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

The findings by researchers at the University of Düsseldorf back other studies pointing to a link between the development of asthma and stress, particularly work related stress.

They base their findings on studying more than 7,000 working adults, who responded to the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, an annual representative survey of the German population, in 2009 and 2011.

The survey covered a period of severe economic downturn across Europe, which began in 2008. And all respondents were asked in 2009 how likely they thought it was that they might lose their job over the next two years.

Among those who believed that they were very likely to lose their job the risk of asthma rose to 60% compared with those who thought job loss was unlikely or non-existent.

The researchers say: “Our findings may also provide a possible explanation for the increased prevalence of respiratory symptoms during the recent economic crisis in the UK.”

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