|October 23, 2017
Less Wealth Means Greater Disability, Shorter Life
The study, which looked at 12,173 older adults in the U.S. and 7,599 in England, found, “[T]hose in the lowest wealth quintile had significantly higher risk of death and disability than their highest wealth counterparts at all ages studied.” While there have been other studies focused on income levels, this one was based on the idea that, because of retirement, wealth may be a better marker of financial resources than income among older adults.
The study concluded that low wealth was associated with death and disability in both countries, despite the differences in safety-net health care systems. It appears that “access to health care may not attenuate wealth-associated disparities in older adults.” Results were similar in the 54-64 cohort and the 66-76 cohort, which would theoretically have greater access to social support programs. There was a “strong inverse relationship” between wealth and disability, which in turn is a strong predictor of quality of life.
The greatest improvements in health outcomes were seen between the lowest and second lowest wealth quintiles.
The article may be found at: http://in.reuters.com/article/us-health-wealth-outcomes/less-wealth-tied-to-higher-odds-of-disability-and-premature-death-idINKBN1CS2P1. The study is reported at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2659324 .
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