Corporate downsizing doubles the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and has serious health effects on employees who survive redundancy, suggests new research.

A Finnish study of 22,430 government employees shows that employees who are laid off are not the only ones who suffer health repercussions from major downsizing.

A team of researchers used employer and death records to study the workers from 1991 to 2000. Between 1991 and 1993, unemployment in Finland nearly tripled – to 16.6 per cent – before a national recession ended in 1996.

Those hit hardest by layoffs – losing more than 18 per cent of their colleagues during the worst years of recession – suffered the highest risk of death from cardiovascular disease. They were five times as likely to die of cardiovascular disease in the next four years as those who suffered no layoffs.

And over the 7.5-year study, they were twice as likely to die from cardiovascular conditions than those in a steady work environment.

More here.