Financial volatility isn’t good for the markets, and it also might not be good for your health.
Abrupt income drops for young adults are associated with greater risks of heart disease in later years, a new study released Monday revealed.
In fact, the people exposed to dips and spikes in their budgets faced more than double the risk of heart disease over the next 10 years and almost double the risk of death, researchers said.
They analyzed data from an ongoing study on heart health that is unfolding in four American cities.
Participants were between the age of 23 and 35 when the study began in 1990. Researchers collected income information and, from 2005 to 2015, recorded data on fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events and other causes of death.
The “observational” study published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation, noted it wasn’t designed to pinpoint the cause for the link between health and income volatility and, as always with such studies, correlation does not necessarily mean causation.
Other research shows smoking, overeating and a lack of sleep can also weigh on heart health.
Still, the findings are just the latest examples on the perils of a family’s finances being feast or famine.
Unexpected money peaks and pits — which can affect all demographic groups — make it tricky to follow conventional financial advice or plan for tax season. The issue’s not going away either, especially with the rise of the gig economy. Income swings have grown more extreme since the 1970s, according to the left-leaning Brookings Institution.
The new study noted that women and African Americans had a greater likelihood of income volatility.
Lead author Tali Elfassy, a professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said the research underscored the risks of sudden money changes.
“Income volatility presents a growing public health threat, especially when federal programs, which are meant to help absorb unpredictable income changes, are undergoing continuous changes, and mostly cuts,” she said.
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