Cost of living crisis impacting health

20 Jan 2023

Several studies over the past months have been looking at the impact of the cost of living crisis on the health of UK citizens. The Health Foundation has suggested it is the second healthcare emergency in the past two years following the coronavirus pandemic, whilst a well-referenced opinion piece in the BMJ highlights how our health is shaped by our environment.

It is important to be aware of this latest crisis in relation to people living with a neurological condition for a number of reasons. Recent research at Swansea University has found that people are experiencing heightened anxiety and stress in response to the crisis. In those living with neurological conditions, stress is known to affect quality of life, exacerbate symptoms and even impact disease progression, depending on the condition.

Disability or caring roles often impact people's ability to work, and a 2018 review of living standards found that there are higher levels and deeper experiences of poverty among disabled people. A 2020 report from MS Society highlighted that almost two fifths of disabled working age adults are in poverty and noted the complex picture that contributes to this for those with MS. Parkinson's UK produced a similar report looking at the true financial impact of Parkinson's in 2017.

A voluntary organisation called rehab recovery recently did its own research and produced a helpful infographic looking at the impact of the cost of living crisis on people's mental health in different population groups. Those most concerned about the situation include those on lower incomes or in retirement, those with disabilities, and those with a dependant.

Infograph taken from:
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