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Recession is good for your health

The economic downturn may not be good for your bottom line, but it might be a boon to your health, a study on health trends during the Great Depression suggests.

world Updated: Sep 30, 2009 00:02 IST

The economic downturn may not be good for your bottom line, but it might be a boon to your health, a study on health trends during the Great Depression suggests.

Looking at US death rates between 1920 and 1940, researchers found that during the bleakest years of the Great Depression, death rates dipped when compared with years of economic expansion.

The patterns were seen among men and women, and across age groups.

At the same time, life expectancy generally increased during the recession years and declined during years of growth.

The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may seem counterintuitive.

However, they add to previous research showing correlations between economic woes and health improvements in various countries.