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Warning: Your measly salary is putting your heart at risk

by , 20 October 2014

The amount you earn every month has a huge influence on your heart health, explains an article published online in BMC Cardiovascular Disorders.

Not only is it stressful when you earn less than you'd like, but it also puts you at risk of dying from a heart attack!

Don't believe me?

It's true. In fact, the National Institutes of Health say adults living in low income households are 50% more likely to die from heart attacks.

Experts say it's because earning less means you're less likely to follow an exercise programme, can't afford more expensive heart healthy foods, are more likely to smoke and be under more stress relating to your family and providing for them.

But a recent study shows that even when researchers adjusted these risk factors, simply earning less than you want to sends your heart attack risk soaring.

Read on for more details about the study…

Study discovers lower socioeconomics increases your heart attack risk

 
More than 12,000 people between the ages of 45 and 62 took part in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.
 
During the ten-year study, researchers collected data from the patients on a regular basis, evaluating their cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking habits.
 
Even after they adjusted the various risk factors of heart disease like a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, smoking and drinking alcohol, those who earned less were still at higher risk of dying from a heart attack.
 
That’s why researchers say lower socioeconomics is a risk factor on its own!
 
But they say another common risk factor could be at play too…
 
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Low income stress could cause your heart attack risk to skyrocket

 
Researchers say lifelong exposure to stress could be the reason for “wear and tear” on the heart leading to heart attacks when you’re in a lower income and socioeconomic bracket.
 
As a child in a lower income household, your exposure to stress starts at a young age. Not being able to get the same toys and do the same activities as your wealthier friends and even witnessing your parents fight about money could have a lifelong influence on your heart health.
 
If you continue to stay in a lower income bracket when you grow up, the stress continues.
 
But because this stress is something you grew up with, doesn’t mean you can’t change your heart health…
 
 
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Use these three steps to lower your heart attack risk by controlling stress

 
Step 1: Figure out what’s causing your stress
 
Because you grew up with the stress of living in a lower income household, you might not recognise it as stress.
 
But take the time to figure out if it is a stress in your life. It’s the first step to discovering how to change it!
 
Step 2: Change the patterns
 
If you always think about what you want and can’t afford, it’s stressful on your heart.
 
Think about what you have and how it adds value to your life instead of what you don’t have that could add value.
 
Step 3: Live a healthy lifestyle on a budget
 
Eating healthy and exercising is a great way to beat stress. But you don’t have to take out an expensive gym contract or shop at the most expensive organic food stores to be healthy.
 
Running doesn’t cost anything, so buy an inexpensive but good quality pair of running shoes and hit the tarmac.
 
Shop at wholesalers and the green grocer to save money on fresh produce instead of buying unhealthy foods from more expensive retailers.
 
There you have it! Even if you’re not earning what you’d like, don’t let it be the reason your health suffers and you die from a heart attack! Use these three steps to improve your heart health and live a happier, healthier life while you do. 

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