Death in Boom Times.
Historically, when economies expand, death rates increase for both middle-aged and older people; however, when economies head for recession, the death rates among these groups decrease. For every 1% point increase in GDP, death rates appear to rise by 0.36% among older people, and by 0.38% among the middle-aged. Two popular explanations include: 1) During recessions, unemployed people reduce alcohol consumption, resulting in fewer road accidents. 2) Job stress and air pollution are known to increase when economies grow.
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, October 2013