Americans' adverse financial health has a significant negative impact on their physical health, the results of a recent survey suggest. Seventy percent of the respondents to the Associated Press-AOL Health Poll, whose results were released Monday, were cardholders. Sixty-two percent of the cardholders pay off their card balances in full; 9% failed to make the minimum payment on at least one card over the past six months; 32% had balances of at least $3,000; and 10% said they had reached their credit limit on one or more cards. For the group of cardholders who carry debt, 10% said they worry about their overall debt "all of the time," and 14% said they worried "most of the time." Consumers also were quizzed on the relationship between their debt load and stress levels. Nine percent of respondents reported "a great deal of stress," and 12% said they felt "quite a bit of stress" over their total debts. Ten percent of respondents said the total debt they have taken on will be "an extreme" or "large" problem over the next five years. Fifteen percent of respondents said they were "very" or "quite" concerned that they would never be able to pay off their debts. Respondents with higher stress over debt had an average 18 percentage-point increase in combined health problems compared with respondents with lower debt-related stress. Among the health problems cited were increased rates of insomnia, migraines, severe anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart ailments and ulcers. Abt SRBI Inc conducted the AP/AOL phone interviews with 1,002 adults, including 778 who have credit cards, from March 24 through April 3.

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