Improving the Epidemiological Understanding of the Dynamic Relationship Between Life Course Financial Well-Being and Health
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Purpose of Review
We posit that there are many different measures of financial well-being such as income, debt, assets, and wealth, which may have different consequences for health at different times in the life course. We frame our discussion of financial well-being within existing theories and mechanisms by which financial well-being may influence health.
We contrast the influences of “snap shot” or one point in time measures of financial well-being with those of repeated measures of financial well-being across the life course. Reviewing recent research, we show the importance of measures apart from income in understanding how financial well-being influences health.
We argue that because financial well-being is multidimensional, the salient effect of financial well-being on health may not be captured by only focusing on singular aspects of this construct. We believe that there is an impetus on epidemiologists to embrace the multidimensionality of financial well-being, which will, in turn, improve public health practice and inform health policy in a more consequentialist manner.
KeywordsEpidemiological methods Financial well-being Income Social determinants of health
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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