" How does income actually affect life expectancy? "

November 4, 2018 Business Money,Health Wellness

The current notion about income and health status is that the wealthier a person is, the longer they can expect to live because they will have easier access to appropriate healthcare. A new study, however, takes a more complex approach and suggests that the answer may not be quite as straightforward.

An influential study published in 2016 in JAMA Network found that there was a significant difference in the life expectancy of people living in different areas of the United States.

The difference, the researchers argued, was down to the variation in the populations’ income levels. Their results suggested that among U.S. men aged 40 years and older, those with the lowest income were expected to live 14.6 years less than men with the highest income.

In the case of U.S. women at the same age, life expectancy was 10.1 years shorter for those with the lowest incomes compared with those with the highest incomes.

However, researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark now argue that these calculations did not take into account an important factor — namely, income mobility.

The Danish team — comprising economists Claus Thustrup Kreiner, Torben Heien Nielsen, and Benjamin Ly Serena — note that their American colleagues treated income levels as constant throughout a person’s lifetime.

However, they argue, that is not how things work. In reality, people who have low incomes at one point in their lives can transition to higher income levels, while people with high incomes can slide down the income scale over the course of their lives.

CONTINUES from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323517.php

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