Innovation

Your bad credit could be a predictor for bad health

One more reason to work on getting that credit score up

Man having heart palpitations when opening his credit card bill

(Kagan McLeod)

Wait! Don’t open that credit card statement! New research shows that it could signal more than just where you like to shop and how much. It could also be a predictor for your health.

In a long-term study of the physical and mental health of more than 1,000 New Zealanders, researchers found a strong link between poor credit and poor health. The study’s authors who hail from Duke University, King’s College London and New Zealand’s University of Otago discovered that the personal attributes that can lead to a poor credit score can also contribute to poor health. The researchers looked at blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar and smoking habits of participants from the time they were born to when they were 38 years old.

The study’s authors found that those who were neglecting their money were at a greater risk for heart disease. So, those New Zealanders with higher credit scores had younger heart ages. The research findings also revealed that approximately 20% of the relationship between participants’ credit scores and their heart health was accounted for by the attitudes, behaviours and capabilities displayed by subjects when they were younger than 10 years old. That’s all the more reason to get your kids into the piggy-bank habit from an early age, too.

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