Financial stress more damaging to health than grief – study

Financial stress more damaging to health than grief – study

Stress related to finances affects not only the mental state of a person, but also the general state of his health.

This was the conclusion reached by scientists from University College London and King’s College, Great Britain, who studied the impact of chronic stress on health, writes Science Alert.

The results of the study, which lasted four years, were published in the scientific journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity. They show that stress over money changes important long-term health indicators. In particular, it affects the work of the immune, nervous and endocrine systems.

To conduct the study, scientists took data from five thousand people over the age of 50 and identified six main stress factors:

  • stress over finances;
  • looking after someone;
  • invalidity;
  • severe loss of loved ones, grief;
  • disease;
  • divorce from a loved one.
Photo: AndrewLozovyi/Depositphotos

Scientists have found that financial stress puts health at the greatest risk.

Scientists have established “risk profiles” using biomarkers in the blood:

  • cortisol – a hormone produced in response to stress;
  • C-reactive protein (CRP) and fibrinogen, which are “immune players” that respond to inflammation;
  • insulin-growth factor (IGF-1), which is associated with aging and longevity.

Study participants who experienced stress were 61% more likely to be in the high risk category than in the medium or low risk categories.

However, people who felt stressed only about finances were almost 60% more likely to be high risk after four years. Moreover, with each additional stress, this probability increased by 19%.

We found that financial stress is the most damaging to biological health, although more research is needed to establish this for sure.

Maybe it is because this form of stress can affect many aspects of our lives, leading to family conflict, social isolation and even hunger or homelessness.”, – said epidemiologist Odessa Hamilton.

Photo: Kitzcorner/Depositphotos

This does not mean that such stress will necessarily cause health deterioration, but it definitely proves that it has a detrimental effect on the body of elderly people, and some of its forms can affect not only the mental state, but also the physical.

It is known that acute stress “triggers” hormonal changes, as a result of which breathing accelerates, blood pressure and heart rate change. The immune system also responds by producing more pro-inflammatory molecules.

That is why scientists warn against being under constant stress, because it can lead to chronic immune activation. And this, in turn, threatens to exacerbate existing physical and mental illnesses.

“When the immune and neuroendocrine systems function well together, it maintains health”Hamilton assured.

In the current study, financial stress, bereavement, and chronic illness demonstrated the most long-term changes in immune and neuroendocrine parameters. This indicates a long-term effect of chronic stress on physical health.

We previously reported that playing a musical instrument can prevent the onset and development of dementia.

Vira Shurmakevich, “UP. Life”

Read also: Scientists have discovered a new method of spreading Alzheimer’s disease between people

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