Most people are likely aware that an excess of debt is bad for one’s credit score. As it turns out, debt’s reach is wider than that. According to a 2013 study, as it turns out it can affect one’s health in a variety of ways as well.

Anyone who has ever faced financial hardship is likely aware of how it can impact one’s mental health. Depression and anxiety are common responses to stress of all types. This is not the only way in which someone’s health might be impacted by debt however. One’s physical health may suffer as well.

For example, a large debt could have a bearing on your immunity. The author of the study sites studies in which the immune system is suppressed by chronic stress. She goes on to point out that financial concerns are often the cause of chronic stress so it makes sense that people who are dealing with those issues could find that their bodies have a harder time fighting off illness.

Blood pressure is another place where high debt-to-assets ratios could be a cause. The blood pressure of 24 to 32 years olds involved in a study regarding the matter was found to be significantly higher than those without the great debt burden.

A poll conducted by Associated Press/AOL Health, indicates that debt stress could also lead to aches and pains including headaches, back pain and muscle tension. It also reportedly linked debt issues to a higher risk of heart attacks and digestive tract problems.

These studies would seem to suggest that addressing debt could improve both mental and physical health. This might best be accomplished with the assistance of a bankruptcy lawyer.

Source: Health, “7 Ways Debt Is Bad for Your Health,” Amanda MacMillan, Aug. 20, 2014