Student loans may harm heart health well into middle age, study finds


People with college debt have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, compromising the typical benefits of a post-secondary education, the data shows.

According to the results of a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine Pin up.

Moreover, people who paid off their student debt had better or equivalent health than people who never had student debt, suggesting that easing the burden of student debt could improve population health.

“As the cost of college has increased, students and their families have gone into debt to get to and stay in college. Therefore, student debt is an enormous financial burden for so many people in the United States, and yet we know little about the potential long-term health consequences of this debt,” Adam Lippert, PhD, of the Department of Sociology from the University of Colorado at Denver. , said in a statement.

“Previous research has shown that in the short term, student debt burden is associated with self-reported health and mental health, so we wanted to understand whether student debt was associated with cardiovascular disease in early-life adults. quarantine,” Lippert said. .

The study included data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, which is a panel of 20,745 adolescents in grades 7-12 who were first interviewed in the 1994-95 school year. .

Four subsequent waves of data were collected, including wave 3, where respondents were aged 18 to 26, and wave 5, where respondents were aged 22 to 44, and were invited for medical examinations at residence.

Investigators assessed biological measures of CV health of 4193 eligible individuals using the 30-year Framingham Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Risk Score, which takes into account age, antihypertensive therapy, index body mass, blood pressure, diagnosis of diabetes, gender and smoking status, to measure the likelihood of CVD over the next 30 years.

Additionally, the researchers looked at levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of chronic or systemic inflammation.

Student debt was categorized into categories that included constant debt, never had student debt, paid off debt between waves 3 and 5, and incurred debt between waves.

Models were adjusted for respondents’ family and household characteristics, including education, income, and other demographics.

Surveyors found that more than a third of respondents had reported no student debt in either wave, while 24% had constant debt, 12% had repaid their loans, and 28% had incurred student debt. ‘studies.

People who were in debt or constantly in debt had higher cardiovascular risk scores than those who had never been in debt and those who had paid off their debt. Additionally, people who paid off debt had significantly lower cardiovascular risk scores than those who had never had debt.

Investigators also found clinically significant CRP value estimates for those who took on new debt and those who were constantly in debt between early adulthood and early 40s, which exceeded those who had no debt. never had debts or repaid their debts.

Ethnicity and the results had no impact on the results, according to the investigators.


Student debt can harm your cardiovascular health well into middle age. Eurek alert. Press release. May 3, 2022. Accessed May 3, 2022.


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