Two recent studies document the serious health risks of not dealing with high debt levels. The latest study published in August 2013 from researchers at Northwestern University’s School of Medicine looked at the psychological and general health conditions of young adults between the ages of 24 and 32. The study found that adults with high debt (defined as debt exceeding assets) had increases in high blood pressure, higher levels of perceived stress and symptoms of depression. Previous studies had found similar correlations between high debt and psychological health but the researchers were surprised to find that young adults now face physical health problems as a result of higher debt levels.
An earlier study from May 2013 conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan documents the unfortunate consequence of high credit card and medical debt. The researchers found that people are more likely to delay or avoid medical and dental care if they have significant credit card and medical debt. The researchers did not find the same results in households with just mortgages and car loans. The study’s author said people with large credit card and medical bills “may be more pressured to repay them to avoid interest and stress, and they may forego medical care to save money under this kind of pressure, even if they really need it.”
We have unfortunately seen these problems frequently in our practice. If you’re suffering health impacts from too much debt contact us so we can discuss your options.