The richest in Great Britain can expect an additional NINE years of incapacity for work compared to the poor
The richest in Britain “can expect an extra NINE years without disability compared to their poorest counterparts”
- After their 50th birthday, the richest men in society lived 31 years without disabilities
- That is compared to 23 years enjoyed by poor men, according to the UCL study
- Rich women lived 33 “healthy” years, while poor women lived 24 years
The rich live without disabilities for nearly ten years longer than poor people, a study suggests.
At the age of 50, the richest men and women in society are healthy for an additional eight to nine years compared to the poorest.
Researchers followed more than 25,000 people from the UK and the US over a 10-year period.
They looked at disabilities, such as being unable to get in and out of bed or cooking for themselves, and referring them to the income of volunteers.
After their 50th birthday, the richest men in England and the US lived about 31 years before they were disabled, compared to about 23 for poor men.
Rich men and women live without disabilities for nearly ten years longer than people in poverty, according to a study (stock)
Wealthy women lived an extra 33 years without a disability, compared to 24 years with impoverished women.
Poor people are usually more seated, especially if they are unemployed, and thicker than rich people – two factors that can lead to health problems.
They also have less access to health care, especially in the US where there is no universal health service such as the NHS.
The poorest people in society are also more likely to drink too much alcohol, smoke and sleep and exercise less.
The top and lowest five areas for life expectancy in the UK
Top five for men:
- Warfield Harvest Ride, Berkshire (90.3 years)
- Fleet North (89.7 years)
- Easton, Norfolk (89.6 years)
- Newton Poppleford and Harpford, Devon (89.4years)
- Salcey, Northampton (89.3 years)
Top five for women:
- Great Corby and Geltside, Carlisle (97.2 years)
- Dullingham Villages, Cambridgeshire (97 years)
- Wimbish and Debden, Essex (96.5 years)
- Laverstock / Ford and Old Sarum, Wiltshire (96.3 years)
- Oakham South East, East Midlands (95.7 years)
Lowest five for men:
- Bloomfield, Blackpool (68.2 years)
- Rhyl West, North Wales (68.3 years)
- Weston-super-Mare Central, Somerset (69.3 years)
- University, Kingston upon Hull (69.4 years)
- Waterloo (69.4 years)
Lowest five for women:
- Gwersyllt West, North Wales (72.6 years)
- Middlehaven, Middlesbrough (74 years old)
- Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire (74 years old)
- Kingswood, South Gloucestershire (74.3 years)
- Pillgwenlly, Newport, South Wales (74.4 years)
Source: National Statistics Office
The latest study, led by University College London, looked at 10,754 volunteers over 50 of the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA).
It also used data from 14,803 adults of the same age from the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS).
Researchers wanted to investigate how long people in England and the US can expect to live free of disabilities and to what extent socio-economic factors play a role.
Data were collected from study participants in 2002 and they were followed for a period of 10 years until 2013.
In both countries, the people in the study were divided into three groups based on total family wealth.
Wealth was calculated by the sum of the net financial income and the net house price minus all debts. Comparisons were made between the richest and least rich groups.
The researchers discovered that socio-economic inequalities in disability-free life expectancy in both countries were comparable in all ages.
But the greatest socio-economic benefit in both countries and in all age groups was wealth.
Main author Dr. Paola Zaninotto said: “Although life expectancy is a useful health indicator, the quality of life as we get older is also crucial.
‘By measuring a healthy life expectancy, we can get an estimate of the number of years spent in favorable health conditions or without a disability.
“Our study makes a unique contribution to understanding the levels of inequalities in health expectations between England and the US, where healthcare systems are very different.”
“We know that improving both the quality and quantity of years expected of individuals has implications for government spending on health, income, long-term care for the elderly and labor participation, and our results suggest that policy makers in both England and the US should increase efforts to reduce health inequalities. “
The authors consisted of an international team of researchers from UCL, University of Turku, the National Institute of Health and Welfare in Finland, Harvard University, Swansea University, Inserm in France and Stockholm University, Sweden.