The American Journal of Medicine study last year said 62 percent of bankruptcies were related to medical expenses. The results were based on a national sample of bankruptcies in 2007.

Other results from the study, led by Dr. David U. Himmelstein of Harvard Medical School:

●Most medical debtors were well educated and middle class, and three-quarters had health insurance.

●The share of bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 50 percent between 2001 and 2007 - a period when the number of uninsured and underinsured Americans increased; health costs rose; and Congress tightened bankruptcy laws.

●Of the medical-related bankruptcies, 15 percent cited the illness of a child.

●In 40 percent of the families with medical-related bankruptcies, someone had lost or quit a job because of the medical event.