Is there a doctor in the house? Someone may need one after Labour’s leadership vote

Dunno what’s going on in the Labour caucus room right now, but Alf has taken the liberty of alerting a doctor.

He has taken this precaution because there’s a fair chance someone will finish up losing their job.

Alf’s money is on this somebody not being David Shearer, the party’s leader.

His turn will come next year.

More likely today – if it happens to anyone – it will be David Cunliffe.

And if he loses his job as the party’s economic development spokesman…

Well, who knows?

But having a doctor handy could be useful.

The way Alf understands these things (his understanding comes from a report here), losing your job is bad for your health.

Researchers found being out of work was associated with an increased risk of heart attack, and this risk rose each extra time someone was fired or made redundant.

The report which has enlightened Alf on this matter appeared in the Daily Mail, which noted that more than two million people are affected by unemployment in the UK.

But it also said little is known about the cumulative effect of multiple job losses on the risks for a heart attack, also known as acute myocardial infarction or AMI.

Come in, the researchers.

The findings of their study were published in the journal Online First by Archives of Internal Medicine.

Dr Matthew Dupre and colleagues from Duke University in the U.S examined the associations between different lengths of unemployment and the risks for AMI in more than 13,000 Americans aged 51 to 75.

Dr Dupre said: ‘Although the risks for AMI were most significant in the first year after job loss, unemployment status, cumulative number of job losses and cumulative time unemployed were each independently associated with increased risk for AMI.’

The study group, with a median age of 62, had 1,061 AMI events (7.9 per cent) during 165,169 person-years of observation.

In the study group, 14 per cent were unemployed at the start, 69.7 per cent had one or more cumulative job losses, and 35.1 per cent had spent time unemployed.

Statistical analysis indicated that AMI risks were significantly higher among the unemployed and that risks increased incrementally from one job loss to four or more cumulative job losses compared with no job loss.

The risks of a heart attack were ‘particularly elevated’ within the first year of unemployment but not thereafter, according to the study.

Dr Dupre added: ‘We found that the elevated risks associated with multiple job losses were of the magnitude of other traditional risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes mellitus and hypertension.

‘In the context of the current economy and projected increases in job instability and unemployment among workers, additional studies should investigate the mechanisms contributing to work-related disparities in AMI to identify viable targets for successful interventions.’

Hence the need for a doctor nearby while the Labour MPs sort out the leadership thing.

According to Stuff (in a report here) –

A steady stream of MPs have arrived at Parliament after being summoned by leader David Shearer yesterday.

It follows speculation of a leadership challenge by economic development spokesman David Cunliffe which overshadowed last weekend’s annual conference and housing policy announcement.

Cunliffe, who is currently on the front bench ranked at fifth place, is expected to be demoted to the backbench after the vote.

Dunno if demotion has the same health effects as a sacking.

But Cunliffe has not won many friends or influenced people among his caucus mates.

Arriving a Parliament, finance spokesman David Parker described Cunliffe’s actions as “destructive”.

“Destructive of himself and New Zealand’s interests.”

Stuff said today’s vote is expected to be unanimous and Parker said it would resolve uncertainty now and in the lead up to another vote, to be held in February following party restructuring confirmed at the weekend.

That’s when Shearer may well need medical attention.

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