Payday death

By • Published: October 20th, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

For some people it happens every other week. For others, it happens once a month. You might even be the envy of your friends if it happens once a week. What is “it”? Well, “it” is payday. A day most people have marked on their calendars. A day that means an end to stretching your last bit of cash or searching for change under the couch cushions or at the bottom of the washing machine.

While most people feel better on payday because a few extra greenbacks occupy their purse or wallet, a new study warns payday can be particularly pernicious.

Researchers studied seniors on Social Security, military personnel, people receiving tax refunds and recipients of state dividend payments. They found getting paid can elevate risk of death.

Depending on the group, the risk of dying was anywhere from 1 percent to 13 percent higher after payday. Death didn’t discriminate by age, either. Senior citizens and young people both have elevated risks according to the study, but younger people actually have the highest increase of death around payday.

Researchers say the increased death rate was the highest on payday and continued for about a week afterward. The most common culprits were heart attacks, accidents and substance abuse.

But why would an influx of cash have such destructive consequences?

Researchers say getting paid gets people out and about and into activities. Those pursuits increase the chances of death because people are driving more, playing more and hanging out with friends. Naturally, spending more time on the road or around town with friends can up your chances of accidents or catching illnesses, which could increase your risk of death.

So the next time you are dying to spend your paycheck, remember: Be careful out there.