The gap between rich and poor in Silicon Valley is widening and workers may be finding themselves stressed to death, even as the regional economy continues to grow.
That’s part of the story told in the 2020 Silicon Valley Index by Joint Venture Silicon Valley and its Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies. The annual research and benchmarking report, released Wednesday ahead of the organization’s annual State of the Valley event, shows the cost of living is rising and income inequality in the region is 1.9 times higher than the rest of the United States.
Meanwhile, the rate of deaths caused by hypertension and hypertensive renal disease in the region has increased by 270 percent since 1999, the report found. Though hypertension is not always linked to stress, lack of sleep and stress can contribute to the disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The problem tends to be worse for those who have less money, said Rachel Massaro, vice president and director of research for the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies.
“It’s a silent killer because not everybody knows they have hypertension, and they don’t necessarily see a doctor if they don’t think they can afford it, or they don’t have money to pay their co-pay,” she said. “Certainly those are some of the things that play into the death rate.”
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