A man holding empty wallet

A new study by the University of Miami has found out that loss of money has negative effects on the heart health for both young and old people.

The research carried out for a period of 15 years shows a strong effect size to the relatively young population aged between 23-35 years old.

According to the study published in the journal Circulation, people who experienced more income drops had more than double risk of getting heart problems, and nearly double risk of dying early compared to those with more stable incomes.

“We assumed that the drop in one’s income or frequents job changes were probably not good for health as this changes are stressful events, but we were surprised by the magnitude of the effect we witnessed since we were studying a relatively young population,” said Tali Elfassy an assistant professor and one of the study’s co-authors.

Income instabilities are as a result of pay cuts after job changing or a period of unemployment.

The participants in the study who experienced more than two drops in income had a 2.5 greater risk of having heart events like heart attacks, heart failure, stroke and nearly double risk of dying.


Previous studies have linked stress as the connection between changes in income and heart diseases.

Stress, which can be triggered by income changes, can contribute to other health risk ailments such as high blood pressure, and obesity a factor for heart disease.

However, low income may also play an independent role in the risks of heart problems as people in the lower socioeconomic status tend to smoke more, do less exercise and see their doctors less frequently.

“Income changes can be major life events, and we tend to assume that the older population are more vulnerable to these changes but the younger populations are also fragile to these types of financial stresses. Clearly even among the young population, income is very important,” added Elfassy.

Medical personnels have been urged to pay more attention to less obvious non-medical factors such as one’s income as changes in financial events could be a source of stress.




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