Cardiac events, stroke lead to loss of work, reduced income in survivors of working age

Assess the effect of cardiac events on work and earning among working-age people.

Cardiac events, stroke lead to loss of work, reduced income in survivors of working age
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Cardiac events, stroke listed as the underlying cause of death, accounts for nearly 836,546. One-third of heart attacks, 25% of strokes and 40% of cardiac arrests occur in people of working age under age 65.

A recent study suggests that people in working age- who have experienced a heart attack are significantly less likely to be working than healthy people. Moreover, they tend to have lower incomes.

The study evaluates the effect of these conditions on the labour market and compares outcomes of people aged 40 to 61 years who were working before their event with controls who had not experienced a stroke or cardiac event. To rule out any temporary labor market effects due to health issues, the researchers looked at employment three years after the initial event.

The effects for stroke were the highest, with a 31% decrease compared with 23% for cardiac arrest and 8% for acute myocardial infarction.

Dr. Allan Garland, Professor of Medicine and Community Health Sciences Co-Head, Section of Critical Care Medicine said, “Three years after admission to hospital for any of these health events, people who survived were less likely than the matched participants to be working and had greater losses in annual earnings. The loss in earnings was substantial, with reductions ranging from 8% to 31%. Even if people were able to work, their incomes in the third year after the event were 5% to 20% less than before.”

“The effects for stroke were the highest, with 31% decrease compared with 23% for cardiac arrest and 8% for acute myocardial infarction.”

According to scientists, the study will help them develop some policies to support people to return to work.

The study is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).