Personal income may increase risk of heart disease
Income levels, if they are unstable, can easily turn into a stressor. However, the volatility of personal income could be having a more serious effect on people’s heart health.
Does how much money we earn affect cardiovascular health?
It is often expected that a person’s income will constantly rise until they reach retirement age.
However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, incomes have become so unpredictable that their volatility has reached an all-time high since 1980.
When a person’s income fluctuates, it can alter many other factors in their life.
It can affect everything from mental health to diet, which could result in potentially serious health problems.
A new study suggests that personal income may even be associated with an increased risk of heart disease and death.
What is most surprising is that this link is present in relatively young people. We know this because an ongoing study has been tracking the health of young people living in four cities around the United States for nearly 3 decades.
The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study started in 1990. The four cities are Minneapolis, MN, Chicago, IL, Oakland, CA, and Birmingham, AL. Each participant was aged 23–35 years when the researchers first examined them.
The risk of low income
The researchers behind the new study analyzed data from the CARDIA study to see whether there was a link between income fluctuations and risk of cardiovascular events as well as death. They first studied income levels taken from five assessments in 1990–2005.
They defined income volatility as a percentage change from one income figure to the next. They also looked at income drop, or an income decrease of 25 percent or more from the previous assessment figure.