Sarah Burgard

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

a PSC In The News reference

"The grave health consequences of a personal financial catastrophe" - Washington Post. 04/03/2018.

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?"

Article in JAMA

Accompanying editorial


Sarah Burgard
Belinda L. Needham
Michael R. Elliott

Carlos Mendes de Leon

Additional Media Coverage:

"Midlife 'Wealth Shock' May Lead to Death, Study Suggests" - New York Times. 4/3/2018.

"Financial Ruin Can Be Hazardous to Your Health" - NPR. 4/3/2018.

"A Sudden Loss of Wealth Increases Your Chances of Death" - Time. 4/3/2018.

"Losing your nest egg can kill you" - Science Daily. 4/3/2018.

"Sudden loss of wealth raises risk of earlier death, study shows" - Financial Times. 4/3/2018.

"Losing life savings in middle age increases risk of early death by 50 percent " - The Telegraph. 4/3/2018.

"We're 50% more likely to die in the 20 years following a personal financial disaster" - Quartz. 4/11/2018.

"Losing your nest egg can shorten your life, study says" - Chicago Tribune. 6/15/2018.

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