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Fear of Losing Job Significantly Increases Risk of Developing Asthma: Study

Work-related stress increases the risk of developing asthma 60%.

Andrea Cordell, Uncover California, Sep 24, 2014

An international team of researchers said the people who fear losing their jobs are at 60% increased risk of developing asthma.

The researchers belonged to the University of Düsseldorf, Massey University in New Zealand and the University of Amsterdam. They looked at German adults during the economic downturn. They assessed the data of more than 7,000 workers between 2009 and 2011. Among other factors, smoking and overweight were also considered.

These adults took part in the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, an annual survey of the German population. Between 2009 and 2011, 105 new cases of asthma were reported in the survey group.

It was found that the people who feared losing their job the most were more likely to develop asthma at 2.12% in comparison to 1.3% of the people who did not have any such apprehension or were not facing a high risk.

It is the first study that has perceived job insecurity during the economic crisis as a risk factor for developing asthma in adulthood. The study has strengthened the findings of the previous studies that indicated a link between the onset of asthma and stress.

"The economic crisis in Europe, which started in 2008, has accelerated this development and has been paralleled by increased perceptions of job insecurity in most European Union countries", affirmed the study researchers.

The researchers also pointed out that with every 25% increase in the perceived threat of job loss, the risk of developing asthma increased by 24%.

Dr. Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK, said asthma is one of the sections, which has not received proper funding for research. In such a scenario, these findings matter a lot and the researchers would have to strive to know more about its detail, said Dr. Walker.

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