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Poll: Money worries world's greatest cause of stress

  • Story Highlights
  • Malaysia, China, Singapore and the U.S. are most worried about money
  • France, Italy and Russia care the least about finances
  • Participants mention the state of the world as second biggest source of stress
  • Health is last on the list in almost every country
By Claire Barthelemy
For CNN
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(CNN) -- A new international poll has revealed that money is the main source of stress in most countries --- but men and women often don't worry about the same things.

A poll finds that money is the number one reason for stress in most countries -- no matter which currency.

A poll finds that money is the number one reason for stress in most countries -- no matter which currency.

The survey, which was conducted by Reader's Digest, asked people from 16 countries one simple question: What stresses you the most?

A total of 150 participants from each country chose between money, family, health and state of the world. The result shows that most participants consider money to be the number one reason for stress.

The recession has not only left its mark in our bank accounts, but also in our minds.

Malaysia leads the list with 58 percent of participants stating money to be their biggest concern, followed by China and Singapore with both 55 percent. Third one in the list is the United States with 48 percent of participants blaming the dollar for their stress.

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For Kathleen Fifield, Senior Editor of Reader's Digest, this result does not come as a surprise. It rather reveals the world's collective consciousness.

"We do find it surprising that with our surveys in general, there is often a strong international consensus of opinion: We have more in common across national borders than we might realize.," she says.

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Each month CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta brings viewers health stories from around the world.

According to the survey, the nations which care the least about money are Russia, France and Italy. In Russia, only 15 percent said they were stressed about money, while in France and Italy the number was 18 and 19 percent respectively.

Most participants from these three countries said their concerns centered more on their family than on money.

The state of the world is mentioned as the second reason for stress.

In Germany, 47 percent of men and 32 percent of women mention this as their number one, followed by 38 percent of women and 32 percent of men in Brazil. In India, women are stressed more about this than men: 41 percent said they worried most about the state of the world compared to only 19 percent of the men, who worry more about money.

India is not the only country where views between men and women differ.

In Spain for example, most women say they worry about their family whereas their male compatriots mentioned the state of the world to be the most stressing. In Italy, the difference is even more pointed as 45 percent of women are stressed most about their family compared to only 20 percent of the men.

Italian men, however, said they were most concerned about the state of their health. This issue was last on the list for every other country in the survey.

"It is easy to put off health concerns until you're actually feeling sick. Understandably, we all get caught up with what seem like much more immediate needs like paying the bills, and getting along with our families," says Kathleen Fifield.

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