Unemployment linked to rise in Prostate Cancer deaths

Johnathan Watkins of King's College London published the first ever study analyzing the health effects of unemployment related to prostate cancer in the journal, eCancerMedicalScience — an open access journal from the European Institute of Oncology.

Researchers examined the effects of unemployment on cancer mortality. The result?


They found that rises in unemployment are associated with significant increases in prostate cancer mortality. The first study to explore the consequences that have come from changes in unemployment

  • Looked at “great recession” of the late 2000s
  • Examined role unemployment has had in generating excess deaths
  • Deaths due to treatable disease like prostate cancer

An increased mortality from prostate cancer continued for at least five years after a 1% rise in unemployment.

This trend held true even after researchers controlled the effect of competing forces such as economic factors, infrastructure, hospital resources, and health care spending. Therefore it wasn’t just that unemployed patients might belong to social groups that are more likely to die from prostate cancer mortality

They're still unsure about the exact causes of correlation between unemployment and prostate cancer death. It could be due to changes in nutrition, societal challenges, and possibly even psychological outcomes. This study encourages healthcare professionals to be aware of the additional risks facing the unemployed. These findings should also facilitate access of care to this population.

Both government and clinicians should work together to mitigate the health effects of unemployment. This population may neglect healthcare needs, or be unable to pay for life saving treatments