Even when you’re savvy about your day-to-day spending, there’s no stopping student-loan bills and sky-high rent from sucking your bank account dry. Sure, being broke is depressing, but the buck doesn’t stop there. A new study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine found that high debt may be as damaging to your physical health as it is your mental well-being.
The research looked at the link between debt and both psychological and general health among 8,400 adults ages 24 to 32. Individuals with higher debt had higher diastolic blood pressure, a risk factor for hypertension and stroke. Those who owed big also reported higher levels of stress and depression along with poorer general health.
“You wouldn’t necessarily expect to see associations between debt and physical health in people who are so young,” says lead study author Elizabeth Sweet, assistant professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “We need to be aware of this association and understand it better. Our study is just a first peek at how debt may impact physical health.”
While you might not be able to control your financial situation as best you like, you may be able to keep your money troubles from completely wrecking your well-being. Start with these 15 Simple Strategies for Kicking Stress.