Recession 'responsible for 2,000 deaths in London'
The study by Oxford University has found the economic downturn -- that started in 2008 and continued through 2009, 2010 and 2001 -- has caused 2,000 deaths from heart attacks in the British capital in its first year itself.
However, the study claimed 80,000 lives were also saved between 2002 and 2008 as deaths from heart attacks declined.
"I would say that there were approximately 2,000 lives lost during the years 2008 and 2009. There was not necessarily a peak in the data, but rather a constant decline between 2002 and 2007, a plateau for 2008 and 09, and then a decline again.
"It is our speculation that these extra 2,000 deaths can likely be explained by the crisis, but we cannot make any conclusions before doing further research," Kate Smolina, who
led the study, told 'The Daily Telegraph'.
The researchers added: "The increase in acute myocardial infarction event rate in London between 2007 and 2009 may be a result of the financial crisis that peaked in 2008 and greatly affected the London financial district."
Prof Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, which funded the study, said the observation was interesting but from this study, the deaths could not be definitively attributed to the financial crisis.
"It is a biologically plausible explanation but we cannot say from this study that there is a cause an effect. Other things may have happened to explain this," he was quoted as saying.