Fuel and electricity go up. Food goes up. Leisure, if there is any time left to enjoy it, too. But the salaries remain. At most, in some sectors they have the audacity to play the vocation card to continue paying their employees well below what is fair. And that has consequences, both for mental and physical health. A good example of this is what has just been shown in a study recently published in American Journal of Epidemiologyin which a relationship between low wages and memory loss in later life is found.
This study has also been presented at the Alzheimer’s International Conference, that is taking place during these days in San Diego. She has been its first author, katrina keziosof Columbia University, who explained that their research “provides new evidence that sustained exposure to low wages during peak earnings years is associated with accelerated memory decline,”
They reached this conclusion after analyzing the records from the National Health and Retirement Study (HRS) of US adults, for the years 1992-2016. Therefore, only one country and a very specific period are taken into account. However, beyond the economic differences of each country in each era, it would not be strange if it could be extrapolated to other groups, especially now that we are going through such turbulent years.
Low salaries affect memory
The economic situation affects health. Whoever denies it is simply looking the other way. It is enough to see that in most studies on diseases, just as factors such as gender, age or genetic predisposition are taken into account, they are also usually considered. educational level or socioeconomic position.
It has been seen that low salaries can favor the triggering of disorders and symptoms such as depression, obesity, or hypertension. These, in turn, accelerate cognitive decline. Therefore, it is not surprising that the memory. But it is something that had not been analyzed until now.
In this study, data from 2,879 people, born between 1936 and 1941. Low wage was defined as hourly wage less than two-thirds of the federal median wage for the corresponding year. Thus, the participants were classified into three groups, according to whether they never had a low salary, if they always had it or if they only received it intermittently. Later, they compared that information with the data of memory decline over the next 12 years.
They found that those who had low wages for virtually their entire working lives experienced significantly faster memory decline in old age. In fact, they had about one more year of cognitive aging for every ten years.
For this reason, in a statement published by the authors of this study, there is talk about the need to raise the minimum wage. It refers to the United States, where the investigation has been carried out. However, it is clear that this should be a maxim in other countries. And there is nothing better than working on what one likes. But even when enjoying the profession, the choice should always be to work to live, not live to work. And, above all, work to be able to remember it.