The association between unemployment and hospital admission is known, but the causal relationship is still under discussion. The aim of the present analysis is to compare results of a cross-sectional and a cohort approach considering overall hospital admission and hospital admission due to cancer and circulatory disease. Register-based data were analysed for the period of 2006–2009. In the cross-sectional analysis, a multiple logistic regression model was conducted based on the year 2006, and cohort information from the same year onward up to 2009 was available for a Cox regression model. Social welfare compensated unemployment and both types of disease-specific hospital admission were associated to be statistically significant in the cross-sectional analysis. With regard to circulatory disease, the cohort approach suggests that social welfare compensated unemployment might lead to hospital admission due to the disease. Given the significant results in the cross-sectional analysis for hospital admission due to cancer, the unfound cohort effect might indicate a reverse causation suggesting that the disease caused joblessness, and finally social welfare compensated unemployment and not vice versa. Comparing different study designs allows for a better causal interpretation, which should be recommended in future quantitative social welfare analysis.
Part of the book: An Analysis of Contemporary Social Welfare Issues