The study led by Northwestern University found that high financial debt is associated with higher diastolic blood pressure and poorer self-reported general and mental health in young adults.
    
Researchers used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in US to explore the association between debt and both psychological and general health outcomes in 8,400 young adults, ages 24 to 32 years old.
    
The study found twenty percent of participants reported that they would still be in debt if they liquidated all of their assets (high debt-to-asset-ratio).
    
Higher debt-to-asset ratio was associated with higher perceived stress and depression, worse self-reported general health and higher diastolic blood pressure.
    
Those with higher debt were found to have a 1.3 percent increase (relative to the mean) in diastolic blood pressure - which is clinically significant.
    
A two-point increase in diastolic blood pressure, for example, is associated with a 17 percent higher risk of hypertension and a 15 percent higher risk of stroke.
    
The researchers found that individuals with high compared to low debt reported higher levels of perceived stress (representing an 11.7 percent increase relative to the mean) and higher depressive symptoms (a 13.2 percent increase relative to the mean).

(Agencies)

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