Saturday, April 24, 2010

How Could A Bank Crisis Link To Heart Disease?

If someone says that you would be at risk of getting heart disease if you do not exercise and do not watch your diet, you would surely not be surprise! However, you would probably stare at a person who tells you that you will very likely to have heart disease if there is a repetition of “bank crisis”. This is understandable because in your memory, bank crisis has never been quoted as a risk factor for heart disease.

On February 26, 2008, a team of researchers from Cambridge University reported that if there were a widespread repetition of bank crisis (like the one at Britain’s Northern Rock Bank), thousands of people could be die from heart attack.

They pointed out that the stress of a system-wide bank crisis could contribute to a 6.4-percent increase in heart attack in countries like Britain and the United States. Take Britain as example, between 1,280 and 5,130 people could just die if there were a significant number of banks being forced to close down. This could apply to developing countries as well. The number of heart attack in country like India could rise by as much as 26 percent.

The researchers named their study as "Can A Bank Crisis Break Your Heart?" The findings of the study were based on comparisons of World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank data on mortality rates and previous banking crisis between 1960 and 2002. The study was initiated in September 2007 after the Northern Rock Bank nearly collapse. In order to stay afloat, the bank was forced to apply for emergency central bank loans.

Banking crisis and the large-scale economic turbulence it brings along were found to be a significant determinant of short-term increases in heart disease and mortality. Every time there is a systemic bank crisis, cardiac deaths surge briefly and regularly. The stress level during such times is very similar to those experienced by individuals during earthquakes, wars or even terrorist attack. This would frequently raise heart and blood pressure, which will in turn increase the chance of getting heart attack.

Older people would especially be hurt the most because they feel unsafe about their lifetime-accumulated savings and because of their possible predisposition to conditions like diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), overweight, etc.

In the case of Northern Rock Bank, spreading panic had caused ordinary customers to completely lose their trust in the financial system that appeared to have completely eroded.

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