- People who have paid off their student loans are in better or equivalent health than people who have not had debts.
- In general, earning a degree has health benefits even for people who have debt, although these benefits are less compared to students who do not have debt.
“Student loans are becoming common among young people and are associated with poor physical and mental health. It is unclear how the accumulation or repayment of student debt is linked to cardiovascular risk and chronic inflammation.”Adam Lippert, a professor at the University of Colorado in Denver (USA). That is why he decided to make a publication in the magazine American Journal of Preventive Medicinewith other American researchers.
Cardiovascular health analysis of 4,193 people
In order to conduct their study, the scientists looked at a national cohort of young adults and healthy adults. Information was collected from 20,745 adolescents during the 1994-1995 school year. The authors then interviewed the students when they were between the ages of 18, 26, and 22 to 44. They then assessed biological measures of cardiovascular health for 4,193 people using the Framingham model. It is a cardiovascular disease risk score, which takes into account gender, age, blood pressure, antihypertensive treatment, smoking, diabetes and body mass index to measure the likelihood of developing heart disease over the next 30 years of life. The researchers also analyzed levels of C-reactive protein, a biomarker of chronic or systemic inflammation.
Students with debt have a higher risk of heart disease
According to the results, more than a third of the participants said that they do not have student debt, while 12% have paid off their loans, 28% have borrowed debt and 24% are constantly in debt. According to the authors, a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and C-reactive protein was observed in students who entered into debt or were persistently in debt between adulthood and their early forties. “If nothing is done to reduce the cost of college education and settle outstanding debt, the health consequences of higher student loan debt are likely to worsen,” Adam M. Lippert, lead author of the study, said in a statement.