Study Links Unstable Income to Heart Risks

Preparing for Tax Day can bring a lot of stress if you’re sweating over your finances. And according to a recent study, fluctuating income can actually put our health at risk.

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CLEVELAND – Preparing for Tax Day can bring a lot of stress to those who are sweating over their finances.

According to a recent study, fluctuating income can actually put our health at risk. 

The study looked at 3,937 adults between the ages of 23-35.

“They found with more income volatility, there was a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and ultimately mortality,’ said Cleveland Clinic’s Luke Laffin, M.D., who did not take part in the study. “Of course, this is an association, so it doesn’t mean that one necessarily causes the other, but it was a relatively robust association that they did find.”

Researchers found that over a ten year time period, young adults who had income variability, or a drop in their earnings in the previous 15 years, had a nearly two-fold increase in heart disease and all-cause death.

Dr. Laffin said experts know stress can play an important role in heart disease by increasing our risk of poor sleep, not taking medicine, and not going to the doctor. And over time, these factors all add up to an increased risk of heart disease.

He also pointed out that access to medical care can be an issue for young adults, especially those who are in between jobs, which could have contributed to the study’s findings as well.

Dr. Laffin said it’s always important to remember to take care of the basics, and not neglect health, even if there is a period where we’re making less money or there is a little bit more uncertainty in our lives.

“Have your annual checkup; if something goes wrong, go to an urgent care clinic, or your doctor; don’t let things fester or drag on,” he said. “Often, when we’re young, we think we’re invincible, but medical problems can add up.”

Complete results of the study can be found in Circulation.

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