According to US researchers, the stress of an unstable income would have negative effects on heart health for both young and old
Money problems are a common source of anxiety. But did you know that they have a real impact on health? This is what American researchers have recently discovered. Their study, published in the journal Circulation on January 7, is based on data from nearly 4,000 people selected at for the study at the age 23, and studied until they were 35 years old. Their incomes were asked at the beginning of the study, then four more times during the research period. Their medical records were also analyzed.
The researchers found that people with the most unstable incomes are twice as likely to develop heart problems or die prematurely.
For example, among people who lost 50% or more of their budget between two assessments, this loss of money was associated with a 2.5% higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke, heart failure or premature death. And this, despite the young age of the participants. “We assumed that income declines or frequent changes in income were probably not good for health… But we were surprised by the magnitude of the effects, because we were looking at a relatively young population” , wonders Tali Elfassy, co-author of the study and a professor at the University of Miami quoted by Time.
These variations of income are in fact considered as stressful events. But it has already been shown that stress contributes, among other things, to obesity or high blood pressure, both risk factors for heart disease.
“Income changes can be major events in life. We often think that older populations are vulnerable to these changes, but the youngest populations are also,” says the researcher. Physicians should talk to their patients, regardless of age, about all their sources of stress, including changes in their economic status, the researchers suggest.