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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Harvard Finds Health Most Common Major Stressful Event in Americans’ Lives Last Year

A Harvard School of Public Health/NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation poll released July 7 examining the role of stress in Americans’ lives found that about half of the public (49 percent) reported that they had a major stressful event or experience in the past year. Nearly half (43 percent) reported that the most stressful experiences related to health.

More than half of those who experienced a great deal of stress in the past month say too many overall responsibilities and financial problems were contributors (54 percent and 53 percent respectively). More than a third of those with a great deal of stress say the contributors included their own health problems (38 percent) and health problems of family members (37 percent).

“It is not widely recognized how many Americans have a major stressful event over the course of a year, or how often health problems are the cause,” says Dr. Robert Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis.

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