AKIPRESS.COM - Being wealthy adds nine years to healthy life expectancy: a life free from disability and pain, according to transatlantic research, Guardian reports.
The 10-year study, conducted across the UK and US, looked at all the social and economic factors behind the reasons why people sink into ill-health as they age.
“We found that socio-economic inequalities in disability-free life expectancy were similar across all ages in England and the US but the biggest socio-economic advantage in both countries and across all age groups was wealth,” said Dr Paola Zaninotto, a professor in epidemiology and healthcare at University College London, which led the research.
Published on Jan 14 in the Journal of Gerontology, the data from 10,754 UK adults aged 50 and older, and 14,803 US adults over 50, examined how long people can expect to live free from disabilities and to what extent socio-economic factors play a part.
“By measuring healthy life expectancy we can get an estimate of the number of years of life spent in favourable states of health or without disability,” said Zaninotto.
The paper shows that at 50 the wealthiest men in England and the US lived about an additional 31 healthy years, compared with about 22 to 23 years for those in the poorest wealth groups.
Women from the wealthiest groups from the US and England lived around an additional 33 “healthy” years, compared with 24.6 and 24 years from the poorest wealth groups in England the US respectively.