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Integrating Wealth & Health


Assets and financial security are critical determinants of health. Asset Funders Network’s recent report, The Health and Wealth Connection: Opportunities for Investment across the Life Course, highlights studies that measure the impact of household wealth on health outcomes and healthy behavior. People with more wealth have lower death rates, lower rates of chronic diseases, improved mental health, and lower rates of smoking, obesity, and excessive alcohol use. Children in wealthier families also have lower obesity rates and fewer markers of asthma. Other studies found that wealth disparities contribute more to racial health disparities than education, occupation, and income.

Recognizing the connection between their clients’ financial security and health, health systems throughout the country have integrated financial empowerment into their existing centers and services through referrals, partnerships with asset development providers, and internal programs. Some have also promoted financial security for existing workers through supportive services and targeted employer contributions toward asset accumulation.