According to a study, economic inequalities do affect lifespans. Do older adults in England stay disability-free longer than those in the United States?
In both countries, the participants were placed into groups based on total household wealth, and the health of those groups was measured.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 25,000 adults over the age of 50, looking for factors that could predict how long they lived before they started to experience age-related disabilities, such as being unable to get out of bed or cook for themselves.
Everything paled in comparison to wealth.
Women from the wealthiest groups in the U.S. and England lived around an extra 33 years in good health compared with 24-25 years for the poorest.
There are many ways to define wealth. In this examine, researchers thought-about bodily possessions equivalent to a house, jewels and artworks, in addition to different monetary property equivalent to financial savings and investments that had been gathered over an individual's lifetime, minus money owed.
Though education level and social class had some effect, neither was found to be almost as significant as wealth. The researchers did not evaluate race as a factor in England, restricting that country's data set, which to begin with was nearly completely white, to white Britons. When parsing the extra racially numerous American information set by race, the conclusions stayed the identical, Dr. Zaninotto stated.
"While life expectancy is a useful indicator of health, the quality of life as we get older is also crucial".
Corinna Loeckenhoff, director of the The Cornell University Healthy Aging Laboratory complemented the methodology and made a similar observation.
Beyond that, she said she was curious about the potential role of lifestyle and personality traits.
But what about all of those people on remote, attractive islands who seem to live forever? "By measuring healthy life expectancy we can get an estimate of the number of years of life spent in favorable states of health or without disability", Dr Paola Zaninotto, the report's lead author, said in a statement.