Hauling yourself out of poverty to make a successful career seriously damages your health, a study suggests.

Going from rags to riches triggers stress hormones which leave you in worse health and ageing prematurely, US researchers warned.

Children from poor backgrounds do less well at school, have worse health and are more likely to fall foul of the law than their richer peers.

US government policies have tried to increase social mobility by giving poor youngsters character skills training, instilling traits like optimism and persistence in the hope they resist temptations that interfere with long-term aspirations.

Yet relentlessly pursuing goals can undermine health, said academics at Northwestern University, Illinois.

More: The bleak reality of child poverty in the UK

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