Paydays and mortality: Cash to crash

GETTING paid is generally good for the health. Those who are earning can buy better food and live in greater comfort; joblessness is associated with a host of ills, from heart disease to depression. But a new paper* finds that the consequences of actually receiving your salary can be fatal.The authors looked at Sweden’s public-sector employees, who make up a fifth of the country’s workforce, over a six-year period. Regional variations in paydays allowed them to strip out the effects on mortality rates of the seasons, days of the week and the timing of public holidays. They found a 23% increase in the chance of dying on paydays, without a matching fall on the days following.That suggests that the deaths were “extra”, and not merely the slightly accelerated demise of frail individuals who would have died anyway in the coming days. If the same pattern holds for the whole workforce, the very fact of being paid kills nearly 100 Swedes a year.Previous research had suggested that drinking and recreational drug-taking tend to rise on paydays: workers suddenly flush with cash get sloshed or high. Some then perish. But the new research found no such effect. Nor did mortality rise from accidents or road collisions. The extra payday deaths were almost all from heart problems (a 70% rise in mortality) and strokes (a 120% rise). They were among workers who earned less than average, and…

Link to article:|int


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