The unemployed receive the most medication

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Most unemployed patients are prescribed medication

On average, unemployed people are prescribed significantly more medication than working people, according to the latest health report from the Techniker Krankenkasse. (TK). The TK reported on Wednesday that the unemployed were prescribed medication for 254 days, which was far ahead of all other occupational groups.

The TK Health Report 2011 recorded, among other things, the disability and medication prescription data as well as the data from outpatient medical care of 3.51 million members of the Techniker Krankenkasse who are subject to social security contributions or who are registered as unemployed. TK found, for example, that mental illness among young adults has increased significantly in the past year. In addition, the health report has shown a drastic difference in the pharmaceutical regulations for the unemployed and for working people.

The unemployed receive an average of 254 daily doses. In 2010, the unemployed were prescribed medication for an average of 254 days a year, whereas the most heavily burdened occupational group in the regulatory and security professions only received 197 daily doses. Overall, the working population was prescribed medication for an average of 182 days in 2010, according to the result of the health report. The media and humanities, who received the least amount of medication with 154 prescribed daily doses, were significantly below this average. Although the differences in pharmaceutical prescriptions in the various occupational groups are also striking, the most extreme difference is to be found in the TK Health Report compared to the unemployed.

Increased risk of illness for the unemployed According to Gudrun Ahlers, responsible for health reporting at TK, the significantly increased drug prescriptions for the unemployed are also a sign that unemployment can lead to an increased risk of illness. According to Gudrun Ahlers, the data in the health report show that "health not only depends on the health stress at the workplace, but also that unemployment is associated with health risks, especially in the psychological area". However, the data do not show whether the unemployed actually become increasingly ill due to unemployment or whether the proportion of sick people among the unemployed is particularly high because they have difficulty in pursuing a job due to their illness. What is also striking about the numbers in the TK Health Report is that not only were the drug prescriptions for the unemployed significantly higher than for other occupational groups, but that the unemployed also had the most doctor contacts in 2010. Although the overall differences were less pronounced, contacts with doctors also point to an increased risk of illness for the unemployed. (fp)

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Image: Gerd Altmann /

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