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Young people in debt might face more health risks

Washington, D.C. residents who have debt may be interested to hear that new research has found a link between high amounts of debt and negative health effects in young people. Researchers from Northwestern University and McGill University assessed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, and the participants in the study ranged from age 24 to 32.

The researchers asked them about their current outstanding debts and their debt-to-asset ratio and found that people with a higher level of debt also had a diastolic blood pressure reading that was 1.3 percent higher than average. High blood pressure can lead to a higher risk of stroke and hypertension. In addition, people with debt are more likely to suffer from depression and other mental illnesses.

The lead researcher in the study says that it is important for people to recognize the connection between debt and physical and mental health issues. Previous research has shown that carrying large amounts of debt can have a negative impact on a person's health, but this study shows that young people are also being negatively affected by debt, which is especially important considering student loans and consumer debts. According to one source, the average American has more than $15,000 in credit card debt and more than $33,000 in student loans. The average mortgage debt is around $150,000.

If a person owes more than they are able to pay off, declaring bankruptcy might be a way to get debt relief. By declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a person can restructure their debt into a payment plan that might allow them to repay some of the balances while offering protection from collection practices. An attorney who is familiar with bankruptcy could help a client file the action and pursue a fresh financial start.

Source: Medical Daily, "The Effects Of Debt Reach Further Than Just Stress; Include Heart Disease, Stroke, And Mental Illness", Matthew Mientka, July 13, 2014

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