Research shows that wealth in middle age leads to longer life

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

  • Researchers studied the wealth and longevity of thousands of people over 25 years
  • They were on average 46 years old and after 20 years one fifth of the group had died
  • People with more savings than siblings also lived longer than siblings
  • This suggests that the link between wealth and longevity has nothing to do with genetics

Having money in the bank in middle age can add years to your life, a study found, which found that every £36,000 you save reduces the risk of death by five per cent in 24 years.

This was true even for siblings, with those who save £100,000 more than a sibling have a 13 percent greater chance of surviving their relative.

More than 5,400 people in the US were followed for 25 years, and data on their wealth and life were analyzed 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 longevity may lie in your wealth and associated 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” for the general population.

This was true even for siblings, with those who saved £100,000 more than a sibling had a 13 percent greater chance of surviving their relative. stock image

The study in JAMA Health Forum used survival models to determine the link between power and longevity.

Factors of genetics and wealth were broken apart by dividing the males and females into subsets of siblings and twins.

In the full sample, having more money reduced the risk of death, and a similar trend was seen in the sibling segment within the group.

A person with more financial means usually lived longer than a sibling with less wealth, they found.

dr. Finegood said, “These findings should be interpreted through a broader societal lens,” adding that the US is first in the economic inequality of high-income countries.

“Over the past 30 years, the gap has widened due to policies and practices that have shifted a significant and increasing proportion of wealth from the lower and middle incomes to the wealthy.”

“Such redistribution could have implications for life expectancy in the coming decades,” he explained, adding that policies to narrow the wealth gap, if implemented correctly, could yield “substantial public health benefits.”

The results were maintained after taking into account previous diseases such as heart disease or cancer and could affect the ability to build wealth as a result of health care costs.

dr. Finegood and colleagues reanalyzed the data using only individuals without cancer or heart disease. The outcome was the same.

More than 5,400 people in the US were followed for 25 years, and data on their wealth and life were analyzed by researchers from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.  stock image

More than 5,400 people in the US were followed for 25 years, and data on their wealth and life were analyzed by researchers from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. stock image

Senior author Professor Greg Miller, also from Northwestern, added, “Far too many American families live check to check with little to no financial savings to take advantage of in times of need.

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

“So from a public health perspective, there is a need for policies that support and protect individuals’ ability to achieve financial security,” Miller says.

The findings are published in the journal JAMA Health Forum.

Scientists say the key to being happy is to lower your expectations, but not to the point of making you miserable

Lowering your expectations, but not to the point of making you miserable, is the key to a happy life, according to scientists, looking for the “equation for happiness.”

Experts from University College London have launched the Happiness Project, a search for a simple equation to explain what makes us happy.

To determine happiness level, they launched a mobile app that encouraged players to make risky decisions and say how they thought they would perform.

More than 18,000 people played the game, giving the researchers insight into connections between performance, expectations and levels of happiness in players.

They combined findings with MRI scans to gain a deeper understanding and one day create an equation that could “explain the different factors that matter for happiness in each of us.”

The same team published an equation in 2016 linking happiness to equality, finding greater inequality leads to lower levels of happiness.

For the new work, they found happiness linked to expectations. If you find that lowering expectations increases the chance of a positive surprise, but constantly lowering them can make you unhappy – so it’s about striking the right balance.

The authors say we should treat happiness “as a tool rather than an end in itself,” to give us insight into a particular task and guide our actions based on feeling.

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