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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


ANTUNES, José António Pereira de Jesus. Economic crisis, health and disease. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2015, vol.16, n.2, pp.267-277. ISSN 1645-0086.

Economic crises produce impacts on the health of the populations. Health risk factors increase while protection decreases. The effects manifest themselves differently in time but can be prevented or mitigated. To understand the negative effects of economic downturns on population health and ways to prevent them we search in MEDLINE, and other sites of evidence-based medicine, articles published from January 2000 until June 2013, using the MeSH terms: Economic crisis, Financial crisis, Health, Mental Health. The scientific production in recent years has shown the effects of economic crises on health. Infant mortality, mortality related to homicides and suicides increases whereas mortality from road accidents decreases. The rise in unemployment is associated with higher suicide rates. The most vulnerable groups are particularly affected. The effects of economic crises can be mitigated. Investment in active labor market policies reduces the impact of the recession on the population's mental health and decreases suicide rates. Strong social protection systems make societies more able to face adversity. Support programs for low-income families, institutions that create social networks, measures to combat over-indebtedness, decreased accessibility to alcohol and the proximity of mental health services to the people can make a difference. The adverse effects of economic crises on populations are predictable and can be mitigated with appropriate measures.

Keywords : Economic Crisis; Financial Crisis; Health; Mental Health.

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