Predictions of Covid-19 Related Unemployment On Suicide and Excess Mortality in the United States
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Importance: The Covid-19 pandemic has driven behavioral and governmental responses with large impacts on economic activity. Estimates of indirect health effects of economic impacts may inform societal action. Objective: To estimate the size of the impact of Covid-19 unemployment on suicides and deaths from all causes. Design: Risk assessment applying of pooled effects hazard ratios from published meta-analyses of observational epidemiological studies, post-Covid-19 unemployment, current labor force composition data, and current age-adjusted mortality rates. Results: This risk assessment estimates approximately 9,700 excess annual deaths from suicide and 66,000 annual deaths from all causes among those recently unemployed due to Covid-19. Conclusions and Relevance: Indirect health impacts of societal responses to Covid-19 are identifiable, multiple and quantifiable. Adverse health impacts, such as those from unemployment, may endure longer than those of the Covid-19 pandemic itself. Decision-makers can include indirect health impacts in policy-making calculi for Covid-19 mitigation and suppression strategies.