BALTIMORE, July 20 (UPI) — U.S. researchers have linked cognitive difficulties in middle-aged and older adults to financial stress that began in childhood.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing found the greater health threat associated with childhood financial strain was caused by income not meeting needs — whatever the economic status and education level.
The study, published in Social Science & Medicine, found those with lifelong financial strain much more prone to add cognitive difficulties to depression and physical problems also being experienced by those whose financial strain begun in adulthood.
“Even in adulthood, these problems can be prevented if we can help change the equation between financial strain and need, for example by making social supports more readily available — from healthcare to food stamps to an improved minimum wage,” study leader Sarah Szanton said in a statement.
More research is needed, she said, to determine whether cognitive deficits associated with childhood financial strain were from the cumulative effect of poverty, environmental factors like the quality of education, or a combination of these or other factors.
Szanton and colleagues looked at finances and health among 699 mid- to late-life African-Americans.
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