When Stocks Drop, Heart Attacks Rise

"He's never worried himself so sick that he's checked himself into the hospital. I think what we're picking up here, in our study, are people who are perhaps more sensitive to stress." For such a person, a market drop could be "the straw that breaks the camel's back."

Parsons notes that a person having so dramatic a reaction to a market plunge might not own stock. His or her stress could arise from worry about the effect of a plunge on the economy at large, or from fear of a resulting job loss.

How big might be the health care cost associated with stock market declines? The authors' calculation, which they call "back-of-the-envelope," assumes 3,700 "market-induced" hospitalizations a year in California. They cite a 2009 U.S. Census Bureau estimate that the average hospitalization, nationally, costs roughly $21,000, putting the cost to California at about $77 million a year. They extrapolate from that to estimate a cost of $650 million to the nation as a whole.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...