Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Rich men live longer

NPR radio reports:
The study, published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, bolsters what was already well known — the poor tend to have shorter lifespans than those with more money. ...

"There are vast gaps in life expectancy between the richest and poorest Americans," Chetty said. "Men in the top 1 percent distribution level live about 15 years longer than men in the bottom 1 percent on the income distribution in the United States.

"To give you a sense of the magnitude, men in the bottom 1 percent have life expectancy comparable to the average life expectancy in Pakistan or Sudan."

And where life spans are concerned, the rich are getting richer.
This is good and expected news. If a man works hard all his life to make a lot of money, then he should be able to use that money to improve his health and longevity. If not, why would he work so hard?

But the study does not actually show that money buys a better health outcome. It just finds a correlation. It is entirely possible that the men are getting rich because they are healthier, and the money itself is not improving their lifespans at all.

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