In the past, economic downturns led to lower death rates, even with the increase of other health issues. This seems counterintuitive for many, considering the fact that suicide rates increase during these same periods of financial hardship.
Still, peolpe are hesitant to celebrate this finding for public health. “If that were really true, then why don’t we just recommend recessions?” says Ralph Catalano, Professor at the School of Public Health.
Studies show that some people cope with financial hardship with healthy lifestyle changes, and this hardship could reduce workplace stress. Other studies, however, show that still others cope in unhealthy ways. These tenous findings continue to exist in various research.