Research has found an unstable income can have widespread negative health implications, from impairing one’s mental health to affecting their diet.

A new study has suggested personal income could even be associated with an increased risk of heart disease and death.

Ongoing research which has been tracking the health of young people living in four cities around the United States for three decades, found substantial fluctuations in personal income to be associated with higher risk of death and cardiovascular disease.

The highest risk was in the decade following the major income change.

In the most extreme cases, income volatility was linked with almost double the risk of death and more than double the risk of conditions like strokes, heart failure, or heart attacks.

Findings were compared with people in a similar category but had less of a change in their personal income.

Some groups such as woman, African-American people, unemployed people, those who were unmarried, people who smoke, people with less than high school education, and people with signs of depression, were identified as having even higher risks.

Lead study author Tali Elfassy, Ph.D., at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, USA, said income volatility presented a “growing public health threat”.

“While this study is observational in nature and certainly not an evaluation of such programs, our results do highlight that large negative changes in income may be detrimental to heart health and may contribute to premature death,’ she said.

The research was not able to conclude what exactly it was about income volatility that resulted in elevated risks of cardiovascular problems, death, or both.

Read more about the study here.