Rich are Healthier

May 16, 2016
Cindy Alvarez

Rich are Healthier

Researchers at the Urban Institute and Virginia Commonwealth University released a report in April examining the links between health, wealth, and income.

For years poverty has often been associated with poor health, while the wealthiest have been thought of having fewer illnesses.

To confirm these perceptions, the report analyzed various health problems for which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recorded prevalence by family income. In every case, the wealthy are better off.

How health and money are related is complex. For both rich and poor, the two attributes likely reinforce one another. “Health and income affect each other in both directions: not only does higher income facilitate better health, but poor health and disabilities can make it harder for someone to succeed in school or to secure and retain a high-paying job,” the Urban authors write.

Living in poverty often means less access to nutritious food or neighborhoods safe for outdoor exercise. Low-income people are more likely to smoke or be obese. White-collar jobs are less physically demanding, and people who have them can afford to take a day off for a doctor’s visit or to get a gym membership. They’re also probably not working the night shift, which is linked to cancer and other health problems.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control, Urban Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University

 

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