Money isn’t everything, but it certainly can have an impact on your health.
That’s what researchers from the University of California-Davis are saying in a new study that looked at the rates of hypertension, or high blood pressure, among different demographics of people. Though the condition is often associated with older people and men, the research suggests that hourly wages can have a significant impact on younger adults ages 25 to 44 and women, groups often considered less at risk for developing hypertension.
The study found that, the lower the hourly salary among women and younger adults, the higher the likelihood they have of developing hypertension. Just how drastic is this likelihood? Well, researchers write that, for people overall, a salary double what they currently make would decrease their risk of developing high blood pressure by 16%. Among women and younger adults the decreased risk is even more drastic — 30%-35% and 25%-30% respectively.
So what do the researchers recommend? Well, senior author J. Paul Leigh suggests that, “policymakers can raise the minimum wage, which tends to increase wages overall and could have significant public-health benefits.” Those may be lofty goals, but he also has a another more reasonable suggestion: screen women and younger adults for high-blood pressure.