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The Great Recession worsened blood pressure and blood glucose levels in American adults.

Seeman, Teresa; Thomas, Duncan; Merkin, Sharon Stein; Moore, Kari; Watson, Karol; Karlamangla, Arun.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A; 115(13): 3296-3301, 2018 03 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29531048
Longitudinal, individual-specific data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) provide support for the hypothesis that the 2008 to 2010 Great Recession (GR) negatively impacted the health of US adults. Results further advance understanding of the relationship by (i) illuminating hypothesized greater negative impacts in population subgroups exposed to more severe impacts of the GR and (ii) explicitly controlling for confounding by individual differences in age-related changes in health over time. Analyses overcome limitations of prior work by (i) employing individual-level data that avoid concerns about ecological fallacy associated with prior reliance on group-level data, (ii) using four waves of data before the GR to estimate and control for underlying individual-level age-related trends, (iii) focusing on objective, temporally appropriate health outcomes rather than mortality, and (iv) leveraging a diverse cohort to investigate subgroup differences in the GR's impact. Innovative individual fixed-effects modeling controlling for individual-level age-related trajectories yielded substantively important insights: (i) significant elevations post-GR for blood pressure and fasting glucose, especially among those on medication pre-GR, and (ii) reductions in prevalence and intensity of medication use post-GR. Important differences in the effects of the GR are seen across subgroups, with larger effects among younger adults (who are likely still in the labor force) and older homeowners (whose declining home wealth likely reduced financial security, with less scope for recouping losses during their lifetime); least affected were older adults without a college degree (whose greater reliance on Medicare and Social Security likely provided more protection from the recession).
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