Unemployment and early cause-specific mortality: a study based on the Swedish twin registry

Am J Public Health. 2004 Dec;94(12):2155-61. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.12.2155.


Objectives: We investigated the association between unemployment and early cause-specific mortality to determine whether the relationship was modified by other risk indicators.

Methods: Female and male twins (n=20632) were followed with regard to mortality from 1973 through 1996. Questionnaire data from 1973 were used to obtain information on experience of unemployment and on social, behavioral, health, and personality characteristics.

Results: Unemployment was associated with an increased risk of suicide and death from undetermined causes. Low education, personality characteristics, use of sleeping pills or tranquilizers, and serious or long-lasting illness tended to strengthen the association between unemployment and early mortality.

Conclusions: An increased risk of death from external causes implies a need for support for those experiencing unemployment, particularly susceptible individuals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • Personality
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Unemployment*