, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 176-185
Date: 11 Sep 2008

History of Unemployment Predicts Future Elevations in C-Reactive Protein among Male Participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study

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Abstract

Background

Unemployment is associated with risk of future morbidity and premature mortality.

Purpose

To examine whether unemployment history predicts future C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in male participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study.

Methods

Unemployment, body mass index (BMI), and health behaviors were measured at 7, 10, and 15 years post-recruitment. CRP was measured at Years 7 and 15.

Results

Having a history of unemployment at Year 10 was associated with higher CRP at Year 15, independent of age, race, BMI, Year 7 CRP, Year 15 unemployment, and average income across Years 10–15. Poor health practices and depressive symptoms explained 22% of the association, but Year 10 unemployment history remained a significant predictor. Findings did not differ across age, race, education, or income.

Conclusions

Discrete episodes of unemployment may have long-term implications for future CRP levels.