American Journal of Epidemiology A recent study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that low earnings are linked to noticeably quicker memory deterioration. Although depressive symptoms, obesity, and hypertension, all risk factors for cognitive aging, have been linked to low-wage occupations, no prior research has specifically looked at the connection between low earnings during the working years and later-life cognitive performance. The American Journal of Epidemiology has published the findings.
The body of knowledge about how lower-income affects health is growing quickly. The researchers examined data from 2,879 people born between 1936 and 1941 using information from the nationwide Health and Retirement Study (HRS) of adults for the years 1992–2016. Low-wage workers were those whose hourly earnings were less than two-thirds of the federal median pay for the same year. Based on the wages earned from 1992 to 2004, Kezios and colleagues divided study participants’ histories of low wages into those who never earned low wages, occasionally earned low wages, or always earned low wages. They then looked at the relationship with memory deterioration over the following 12 years, from 2004 to 2016.
The study’s findings revealed that persistent low-wage employees aged substantially more quickly than those who never received low pay. They aged cognitively more slowly than average, losing around one year every ten years.
According to their results, social measures that improve the financial security of low-wage employees may be especially advantageous for cognitive health, according to senior author Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri.