According to this new study from the University of Georgia, financial stress on family in their 40s is associated with increased physical pain over the next several decades.
27 years of longitudinal study
The authors used data from the Iowa Youth and Family Project, a longitudinal study that provides 27 years of data on rural families in a cluster of eight counties in north-central Iowa.
The data was collected in real time from the marriages of 500 families who experienced financial problems linked to the agricultural crisis of the late 1980s.
Most people are now over 65 and couples form lasting marriages, some up to 45 years old.
Even after controlling for concurrent physical illnesses, family income, and age, researchers found a link between family financial hardship in the early 1990s and physical pain almost three decades later.
Additional results from their study show that financial stress is more likely to influence physical pain, although physical pain may in turn influence financial stress through additional health care costs.