Volume 50 | Number 5 | October 2015

Abstract List

Ginger Smith Carls Ph.D., Rachel Mosher Henke Ph.D., Zeynal Karaca Ph.D., William D. Marder Ph.D., Herbert S. Wong Ph.D.


To assess the association between aggregate unemployment and hospital discharges for acute myocardial infarction () among adults and seniors, 1995–2011.

Data Sources/Study Setting

Community hospital discharge data from states collected for the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project () State Inpatient Databases () and economic data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1995–2011.

Study Design

Quarterly time series study of unemployment and aggregate hospital discharges in local areas using fixed effects to control for differences between local areas.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods

Secondary data on inpatient stays and unemployment rates aggregated to micropolitan and metropolitan areas.

Principal Findings

For both adults and seniors, a 1 percentage point increase in the contemporaneous unemployment rate was associated with a statistically significant 0.80 percent (adults) to 0.96 percent (seniors) decline in hospitalization during the first half of the study but was unrelated to the economic cycle in the second half of the study period.


The study found evidence that the aggregate relationship between health and the economy may be shifting for cardiovascular events, paralleling recent research that has shown a similar shift for some types of mortality (Ruhm 2013), self‐reported health, and inpatient use among seniors (McInerney and Mellor 2012).