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November 22, 2019 Friday 12:03:20 PM IST

Unstable income in young age hits brain

Teacher Insights

Young adults who experience annual income drops of 25 percent or more may be more at risk of having thinking problems and reduced brain health in middle age, according to a Columbia University study published online in Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study followed 707 participants in the United States who reported their annual pre-tax household income every three to five years for 20 years, from 1990 to 2010.Brain scans with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)were conducted at the beginning of the study and 20 years later. The participants were given thinking and memory tests.People with two or more income drops had worse performances than people with no income drops. On an average, they scored worse by 3.74 points or 2.8 percent. 

There may be several explanations. People with unstable income may have reduced access to high quality health care which may result in worse management of diseases like diabetes, or management of unhealthy behaviours.


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