Sarah Burgard

Burgard et al. find sudden loss of wealth at midlife linked to increased risk of mortality

an In The Media Reference

"The grave health consequences of a personal financial catastrophe" - Washington Post. 4/3/2018.

A newly published study by Lindsay Pool, Sarah Burgard, Belinda Needham, Michael Elliott, Kenneth Langa, and Carlos Mendes de Leon examines the impact on all-cause mortality of a sudden and significant loss of wealth during midlife (ages 51 to 61). Their study population of more than 8,700 Americans in the Health and Retirement Study was first assessed in 1994 and followed biennially through 2014. During this 20-year period, the more than 25% of individuals who experienced a sudden wealth loss - defined as losing at least 75% of their wealth in two years - had a 50% increased risk of dying.

In the study's accompanying *JAMA* ediitorial, Alan Garber asks a key question: "The association between financial shock and mortality is striking. But is it more than an association—does a wealth shock *cause* death?"

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