Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Unemployment and mortality: comparison of the 1971 and 1981 longitudinal study census samples.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 10 January 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:86
  1. K A Moser,
  2. P O Goldblatt,
  3. A J Fox,
  4. D R Jones


    Mortality in the period 1981-3 among men in the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys longitudinal study who were seeking work in 1981 was examined to investigate whether the finding of a high mortality rate among a comparable group of men who were followed up from the 1971 Census was repeated despite appreciable changes in the size and structure of the labour force over the intervening years. The pattern of mortality shortly after both censuses suggests that sick unemployed men were not categorised as seeking work, and it is concluded that for both samples the mortality of those who were reported to be seeking work was raised for reasons other than initial poor health. Other findings from the two censuses are also broadly similar. If confirmed after longer follow up this will add considerably to the evidence of the adverse health consequences of unemployment.