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Employment affects premature deaths

Friday August 3rd 2012

A new study has found that people living in areas of the UK with long-term low employment face a bigger risk of dying prematurely.

The research from geographers at Durham University's Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience shows that people in such areas are far more likely to suffer from arthritis, asthma, heart conditions, back problems and other ailments.

Data on over 200,000 people from the Office for National Statistics longitudinal study was used in the research and co-author, Professor Sarah Curtis, says it shows how important employment initiatives are in the wider scheme of things as well.

"Employment rates affect local conditions that are important for the health of everyone in an area, not only workers who may be in or out of work," she said.

"It is important to sustain efforts to create and support permanent jobs in areas with persistently low employment rates, not least because this is important for the health of the population."

Factors like age, sex and mobility were taken into account and populations were compared in groups of areas according to local employment levels. Durham University was helped by the Wolfson Research Institute in the undertaking of the research scheme.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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