March 23, 2010

Rich People Live Longer

I don't know if this will come as a surprise to anyone but wealthier people tend to live longer.

An article in SF Gate on the topic discusses a study that compared life expectancy of the poor and the wealthy.   It says that "By 1998-2000, the difference in life expectancy had increased to 4.5 years (79.2 versus 74.7 years), and it continues to grow, he said".  

There are a variety of reasons richer people live longer.  

Health practices and access to good quality health care is one of them.    Lower income people are less likely to have health insurance or get regular preventative care. This USAToday article reported that higher income people are about twice as likely to report "good health" with 71% of high income people doing so compared to 37% of low income.    They also found that diabetes rates are lower for higher income individuals.   Just 6.5% of the highest income population had diabetes compared to 13.9% of the lowest income group.  Lower income people are more likely to be smokers.   

Lower income people are also more likely to live in neighborhoods with higher violent crime or engage in higher risk jobs.

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