Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Great Depression Was Good For Health

the recessions of 1921, 1930–1933, and 1938 coincided with declines in mortality and gains in life expectancy.The only exception was suicide mortality which increased during the Great Depression, but accounted for less than 2% of deaths. Correlation and regression analyses confirmed a significant negative effect of economic expansions on health gains. The evolution of population health during the years 1920–1940 confirms the counterintuitive hypothesis that, as in other historical periods and market economies, population health tends to evolve better during recessions than in expansions.
From "Life and death during the Great Depression" by José A. Tapia Granadosa, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, and Ana V. Diez Rouxb, School of Public Health, University of Michigan.

Not all better health outcomes are about providing more medical care or more health insurance. A lack of money causes lifestyle changes and fewer doctor visits which seem to improve healthiness.

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