06/16/2014 10:58 am ET Updated Jun 16, 2014

How Your Student Debt Can Make You Sick And Depressed

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The “Congratulations!” cards have stopped coming in the mail and the college discount and drink specials no longer apply. With graduation season over, now all you’re left with is a looming stack of student loans in a shaky economy. It’s no secret that mounting debt is bad for your bank account, but it’s worth considering the physical and psychological impact of student debt.

A 2013 study conducted by Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine found that 24- 32-year olds reported greater incidents of high blood pressure and depression as a result of high financial debt. Researchers asked 8,400 participants about their debt-to-asset ratio as well as how much debt they owed, not including a home mortgage. The results revealed that those with high compared to low debt reported an 11.7% increase in perceived stress, a 13.2% increase in depressive symptoms like increased irritability and lack of focus, and a 1.3% increase in blood pressure.

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