May 5, 2016 – Wealth and Life


Anchor lead: There’s plenty of evidence that those who live longest are also the wealthiest, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Take US tax records for over a decade and correlate them with medical and death records, and what emerges is a huge amount of data showing that people who are well off live longest, and that the gap between those at the top of the income curve compared to those at the bottom is several years of life.  Mike Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, looks at the data.

Klag: What this analysis found was that life expectancy went up continuously with household income, and if you compare the bottom 1% to the top 1%, we’ve heard a lot about the top 1%, there was a 15 year age gap.  People in the top 1% men in the top 1%, lived 15 years longer than the those in the lowest 1%, where women it was a ten year gap.  That’s a huge gap, that’s the difference in life expectancy between a smoker and a nonsmoker.   :26

Klag says these numbers point to clear action points with regard to policy and education, helping people to make better choices to promote health.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.