HealthDay News — A drop in household income over six years is associated with a higher risk for subsequent incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) during the next 17 years, according to a study published online Oct. 9 in JAMA Cardiology.

Stephen Y. Wang, M.P.H., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used data from the multisite Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities study (income assessment, 1987-1989 to 1993-1995; follow-up through 2016). The association between changes in household income and incident CVD was assessed among 8,989 participants (mean age at enrollment, 53 years; 43 percent men; 20 percent black).

The researchers found that 10 percent of participants experienced an income drop, 70 percent had incomes that remained relatively unchanged, and 20 percent experienced an income rise. Participants with an income drop experienced a significantly higher risk for incident CVD compared with those whose incomes remained relatively unchanged (hazard ratio, 1.17) in an adjusted analysis, while those with an income rise experienced a significantly lower risk for incident CVD (hazard ratio, 0.86) compared with those whose incomes remained relatively unchanged.

“Health professionals should have greater awareness of the influence of income change on the health of their patients,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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