Study: Mental Health Linked To Unhealthy Behaviors Among The Poor

ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – A new study says anxiety and depression lead to smoking and binge drinking among those with low incomes. The study, from the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine says poor mental health symptoms were seen as predictors that led to the behaviors, along with illegal drug use, unprotected sex and bad diets. The study examined more than 480 adults getting care at a sexually transmitted infection clinic. They were given online interviews over the course of a year, which researchers then compiled. The study authors found that among the poor, stress and anxiety lead to the drinking and drugs — not the other way around. The study recommends referring patients for mental health counseling may improve their overall health. The findings are published in the journal “Translational Behavioral Medicine.”

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