Working For Low Wages Makes Your Brain Age Faster

Working for minimum wage may be more harmful for your brain than it is for your wallet!

A new study finds that continuously working for low wages leads to significantly faster memory decline. Simply put, when someone works a low-paying job, their brain ages faster than someone making a good salary.

Researchers at Columbia University note that previous studies have linked low-wage jobs to depressive symptoms, obesity, and hypertension. All of these conditions increase a person’s risk of accelerated cognitive aging. “Our research provides new evidence that sustained exposure to low wages during peak earning years is associated with accelerated memory decline later in life,” says Katrina Kezios, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Using records from the national Health and Retirement Study (HRS) on adults between 1992 and 2016, the team examined data on 2,879 people born between 1936 and 1941. Researchers defined “low-wage” as hourly pay that was less than two-thirds of the federal median wage during that particular year.