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Youth unemployment and economic recession in Spain: influence on health and lifestyles in young people (16–24 years old)

Abstract

Objectives

To explore health status and lifestyles in young Spanish people in 2006 and 2012, the changes between these 2 years and the influence of employment status on health and lifestyles in this period.

Methods

Cross-sectional analysis of the Spanish National Health Surveys 2006 and 2011/12 in people 16–24 years old (3701). Regression analyses for pooled cross-sectional data were developed. Employment status was considered as explanatory variable of health (self-rated health, diagnosed morbidity and mental disorders) and lifestyles (overweight, tobacco and alcohol consumption).

Results

Male unemployment was associated with poor self-rated health (OR 1.88; CI 95 % 1.00–3.53), mental disorders (OR 2.42; CI 95 % 1.02–5.76) and tobacco consumption (OR 1.62; CI 95 % 1.00–2.62). During the economic recession, young people presented better health results than in 2006. Unemployed who had never worked consumed less tobacco and alcohol than short-term unemployed.

Conclusions

Unemployment was associated in young men with poor self-rated health, mental illness and tobacco consumption. Despite the economic recession, young people presented better self-rated health, diagnosed morbidity and mental health in 2012 than in 2006, especially in women.

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Correspondence to Isabel Aguilar-Palacio.

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Aguilar-Palacio, I., Carrera-Lasfuentes, P. & Rabanaque, M.J. Youth unemployment and economic recession in Spain: influence on health and lifestyles in young people (16–24 years old). Int J Public Health 60, 427–435 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-015-0668-9

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Keywords

  • Youth unemployment
  • Health surveys
  • Health
  • Lifestyles
  • Economic recession