World Mental Healthcare Association

Early Financial Stress Leads To Physical Pain Decades Later, Reveals Study

Early Financial Stress Leads To Physical Pain Decades Later
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Health News: University of Georgia scientists found that midlife family financial stress was associated with depleted sense of control, which can lead to increased physical pain nearly 30 years later.

The research team collected data from Iowa Youth and Family Project, a longitudinal study that provides 27 years of data on rural families from a cluster of eight counties in north-central Iowa. It’s a real time data from husbands and wives in 500 families who experienced financial problems associated with the late 1980s farm crisis. Most of the individuals are now over 65 years old, and the couples are in enduring marriages — some as long as 45 years.

Researchers controlled for concurrent physical illnesses, family income and age. Yet, they found a connection between family financial hardship in the early 1990s and physical pain nearly three decades later.

Stressful experiences like financial strain destroy psychological resources like a sense of control, which in turn activate brain regions sensitive to stress. These brain regions launch pathological, physiological and neurological processes resulting in physical pain, loneliness, cardiovascular disease and other health conditions.

In old age people complain about memory loss, bodily pain and lack of social connections. The percentage of older adults complaining of bodily pain and loneliness is increasing and so is health care cost. Therefore, researchers believe it is a public health concern.

To Know More, You May Refer To

Kandauda A. S. Wickrama, Eric T. Klopack, Catherine Walker O’Neal. Midlife family financial strain, sense of control and pain in later years: An investigation of rural husbands and wives. Stress and Health, 2021; DOI: 10.1002/smi.3038.

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