CitationLippert, Adam M.; Houle, Jason N.; & Walsemann, Katrina M. (2022). Student Debt and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among U.S. Adults in Early Mid-Life. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. vol. 63 (2) pp. 151-159
AbstractIntroduction Student loan debt has become common for young adults in the U.S. and is correlated with poor physical and mental health. It is unclear how the accumulation or repayment of student debt is associated with longer-term cardiovascular risks and chronic inflammation. Methods Nationally representative data collected between 1994 and 2018 from >4,000 participants of a U.S. cohort study were analyzed in 2021 to assess the associations among change in student debt between young adulthood and early mid-life, 30-year Framingham cardiovascular disease risk scores, and C-reactive protein levels. Results Ordinary least squares regression revealed higher cardiovascular disease and C-reactive protein risks among those in households who became indebted or were consistently in debt between young adulthood and early mid-life than among those in households who were either never in debt or repaid their loans. This pattern persisted after adjustments for degree completion, socioeconomic measures, and other sources of debt. Conclusions These findings provide a benchmark for widening health inequalities among a cohort bearing more student debt than any other in U.S. history. As student debt accumulates, within-cohort disparities in cardiovascular disease and related morbidities may undermine the health benefits of postsecondary education.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Author(s)Lippert, Adam M.
Houle, Jason N.
Walsemann, Katrina M.