Excessive levels of debt can cause stress, headaches, worry and concern over finances. Even worse, debt can cause physical harm by causing health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, a weakened immune system and high blood pressure. We often consider the impact debt has on our mental wellbeing, but the effects on our physical health are equally important.
- High levels of debt can raise blood pressure, which can increase the chances of stroke. In a study released by Northwestern University and McGill University, it was discovered people with debt troubles had blood pressure readings 1.3 percent higher than the general population. This translates to a 15 percent higher risk of stroke!
- Excessive debt can increase the chances of suffering a heart attack. Earlier this year, a team of cardiologists with the University of California Medical Center issued a warning that women with severe financial struggles were twice as likely to suffer heart attacks.
- Stressing over debts can cause stomach ulcers. In a 2007 AP-AOL health poll, 1002 people were interviewed to assess how excessive debt can affect health. The poll discovered 27 percent of respondents with excessive debt reported stomach ulcers, as compared to 8 percent of people who were not stressed over debt.
- Chronic stress and worry over debts can devastate the immune system. Poor immune systems are incapable of fighting off infections and other illnesses.
Health Effects of Debt Vary Considerably
The threshold for an “acceptable” level of debt is likely to vary from person to person. It would be insightful to have more information on how much debt a person can accumulate before succumbing to harmful health conditions.
In the near future, we will offer suggestions on our blog that can help debtors relieve stress and prevent the negative health effects of debt.