Having bad credit may not actually give you a heart attack, but a low credit score could be indicative of the fact that you may be on your way to suffering one in the future, according to research from Duke University.

(Johan Swanepoel, ThinkStock)
(Johan Swanepoel, ThinkStock)

The study in 2014 found a link between low credit scores and the likelihood that a person will have a heart attack or stroke.

"It's not because poor credit is causing them to feel stressed out or because stress-related illness is leading to financial distress. It's because the same psychological factors, like self-control, influence both credit score and health," said the study's author, Salomon Israel, post doctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, told New Jersey 101.5 at the time.

Researchers looked at the childhood characteristics of a group of children in the 1970s and then looked at the credit scores and heart health of those same children 30 years later.

"We found that the same childhood characteristics, like the ability to delay gratification, or the same kind of factor that goes into being able to watch your budget, has a profound effect throughout your life and ends up effecting both your credit and your health," Israel said.

The study brings to light the value of teaching children at young ages how to develop a sense of self-control and self-regulation, according to Israel.

"Basically, it shows that people who make good financial decisions also tend to make good health decisions," Israel said. "Children who had a tough time regulating impulses, regulating emotions and had difficulty planning ahead and being organized were also the ones later on in life who had a hard time managing their health and managing their credit."

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