Poor? Never Mind, You'll Die Quicker

By Gary Cutlack on at

Worried about bills? People mocking your 18-month-old telephone? Holes in your trousers that weren't put there on purpose by an Indonesian fabric worker? No idea where the money to pay for the next bicycle delivery of bespoke bakery products is going to come from? You're not alone, but the good news is that you'll die sooner so the misery of being poor will all be over quicker.

That's probably bad news, actually, sorry, with research into how socioeconomic status affects lifespan finding out that, across the board, poorer people tend to die sooner. The numbers collated 48 previous studies that tracked the lives and lifestyles of more than 1.7 million people, revealing that people from poorer backgrounds are 1.5 times more likely to die before reaching 85 years old than their relaxed richer peers.

That equates to a 2.1 year drop in life expectancy simply from being born at the crappier end of town with only the 2G mobile signal and the fumes from the meat factory incinerator, with the numbers showing that other notorious early killers such as high blood pressure, obesity and boozing don't affect life expectancy as much as simply being poor.

Lead researcher Dr Silvia Stringhini, from Lausanne University Hospital, said: "Given the huge impact of socio-economic status on health, it's vital that governments accept it as a major risk factor and stop excluding it from health policy. Reducing poverty, improving education and creating safe home, school and work environments are central to overcoming the impact of socio-economic deprivation." [AOL]


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