A low credit score can’t give you a heart attack, but it might mean you’ll have one soon, a new study has found. There’s now another reason to keep track of your credit, and it actually can be a matter of life or death. Researchers at Duke University have found a link between low credit scores and the odds that a person will suffer a heart attack or stroke. On the other hand, each 100-point credit score increase was associated with a “heart age” that was 13 months younger, researchers in a study to be published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.”
The paper — “Credit scores, cardiovascular disease risk, and human capital” — didn’t find that low credit scores cause cardiovascular disease, though some readers might feel like they have a heart attack when they look at their credit scores (you can check your scores for free every month on Credit.com). Rather, it shows people who make good financial decisions also tend to make good health decisions. “The same skills that are related to having a good credit score are related to heart health,” said paper author Salomon Israel, a Duke Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience.
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