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Rich People May Live Longer

1 year ago

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Posted on Jul 26, 2021, 9 p.m.

Rich people live LONGER: Study reveals that for every £36,000 saved by middle age, death risk in the next 24 years falls by five per cent.

Having money in the bank by middle age can add years to your life, a study revealed, finding that every £36,000 saved cut the death risk by five per cent over 24 years. 

This even applied in the case of siblings, with those saving £100,000 more than a brother or sister having a 13 percent greater chance of outliving their relative. 

Over 5,400 people in the US were tracked for 25 years, and data on their wealth and life was analysed by researchers from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Information on participants, with an average age of 46, was collected from 1994 to 1996, and followed up in 2018 when 1,000, about a fifth, had died. 

Corresponding author Dr. Eric Finegood said the findings suggest that one of the keys to a long life may lie in your net worth and its related health benefits such as being able to afford better care, food and more time to rest.

He said government policies to reduce income inequality would have 'significant health benefits' on the general population.  

The study in JAMA Health Forum used survival models to work out the connection between net worth and longevity.

Factors of genetics and wealth were teased apart by dividing the men and women into subsets of siblings and twins.

In the full sample, having more money reduced mortality risk, and a similar trend was identified among the segment of siblings within the group.

A person with more financial assets tended to live longer than a brother, sister or twin with fewer assets, they discovered.

Dr. Finegood said: 'These findings should be interpreted through a broader societal lens,' adding that the US is first in economic inequality of high-income nations. 

'Over the past 30 years, the gap has widened through policies and practices that have diverted a substantial and increasing share of wealth from lower and middle-income groups to the affluent.'

'Such redistribution may have implications for longevity patterns in the coming decades,' he explained, adding that policies to reduce the wealth gap, if properly implemented, could generate 'substantial returns to public health.' 

The results remained after taking into account previous illnesses like heart disease or cancer and could impact the ability to accrue wealth due to healthcare costs

Dr. Finegood and colleagues re-analysed the data using only individuals without cancer or heart disease. The outcome was the same.

Senior author Professor Greg Miller, also from Northwestern, added: 'Far too many American families are living pay cheque to pay cheque with little to no financial savings to draw on in times of need.

'At the same time, wealth inequality has skyrocketed. Our results suggest that building wealth is important for health at the individual level, even after accounting for where one starts out in life.

'So, from a public health perspective, policies that support and protect individuals' ability to achieve financial security are needed,' said Miller.

The findings have been published in the journal JAMA Health Forum

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine

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