Economic differences are associated with various health problems, such as depression, hypertension and obesity. A new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that the effects of persistently low wages are associated with faster memory decline in old age. The research team looked at 2,879 individuals born between 1936 and 1941. They compared their wages between 1992 and 2004 and divided them into three categories: never earned low wages, intermittently earned low wages, or consistently earned low wages. By low wage, the researchers understood a wage lower than two-thirds of the federal minimum wage in the US in a given year. Subsequently, they looked at the memory decline of the participants over the next twelve years – from 2004 to 2016. They found that workers who received a low salary for a long time experienced faster memory decline in old age. Photo gallery (3) Source: Getty Images “Our research provides new evidence that persistently earning low wages during the peak earning years is associated with accelerated memory decline in later life,” said lead study author Katrina Kezios, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology. at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. In the US, the federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 (€7.1) per hour since 2009. However, it does not keep pace with inflation. The wages of employees are so low despite the rising prices of goods and services. Photo gallery (3) Source: Getty Images Epidemiologist at Columbia Mailman School and Columbia Butler Aging Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri added that the wage increase could be beneficial to health. “Our findings suggest that social policies that improve the financial well-being of low-wage workers may be particularly beneficial for cognitive health,” she concluded.
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