Study results link jobs to men’s health

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 21, 2001

The news isn’t good, once again. A study released Tuesday points out that men who live in areas with high unemployment and low-paying jobs have a significantly higher rate of deaths from heart disease than other areas of the county.

And Mississippi tops the list. According to the Associated Press story, men 35 and older who live in Mississippi are more likely to die of heart disease than anywhere else in the United States. The state tallied a rate of 878 deaths per 100,000 men during the four-year study period.

The research solidly links the underlying social factors associated with low-pay and few jobs with the general health of the public. And the study provides tangible evidence that access to such things as health clubs and parks – often out-of-reach for unemployed or under-employed individuals – is a real factor in determining the health of the public.

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Moreover, the study points out the disparity among race – black men fared worse than any other group in the study – and health. The experts say that disparity is caused by a wide variety of factors, from social to educational.

We believe they are right. And we believe the study simply validates a belief that many people hold – socio-economic success and stability translate to better health and fitness, both mental and emotional.

Jobs aren’t a panacea to our health concerns, though, and we need to remember that. But the issues of good nutrition, general fitness and education deserve our continued focus and attention.

As does the health of our nation and our community.