The results, reported in the journal PLOS One: “Among 31-year-old men, unemployment exceeding 500 days or two calendar years within the previous three years was associated with shorter leukocyte telomere length,” the researchers report.
“The stress resulting from long-term unemployment appears to be of key importance,” they add. “The robustness of the result suggests that we did not merely identify those individuals with long-standing poor health or risky lifestyles.”
These results were not duplicated in the women, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. The researchers note that women may have “more diverse options for socioeconomic activity, possibly reducing vulnerability to disappointments in any one area of life.
“The traditional view of the man as the wage earner … may also mean that unemployment is more harmful to men than to women,” they add.
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