FRIDAY, July 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Money may not buy happiness, but new research suggests it can at least help Americans live longer.
“Our results suggest that wealth creation is important to individual health, even after considering where one begins in life,” said Greg Miller, faculty member of the Northwestern University Institute for Policy Research. , In Chicago. “So, from a public health perspective, you need policies that support and protect people’s ability to achieve financial security.”
But too many Americans live from paycheck to paycheck with little or nothing to turn to in times of need, added Miller, lead author of the new study.
For the study, Miller’s team analyzed data from 5,400 adult participants in the Midlife in the United States project.
The researchers compared the participants’ net worth (mean age, 47 years) in the mid-1990s and their death rates 24 years later.
The bottom line: People with the greatest wealth in middle age tended to live longer.
But the researchers wondered if other, perhaps familiar, factors might also be at play.
When they focused on a subset of nearly 2,500 siblings and twin sets, they found a similar association, suggesting that the connection between wealth and longevity goes beyond genetics or shared family experiences.
The findings were published on July 23 in JAMA Health Forum.
“The association within the family provides strong evidence that there is an association between wealth accumulation and life expectancy, because comparing siblings within the same family with each other controls all the life experiences and biology they share. “said corresponding author Eric Finegood, a postdoctoral fellow, said in a university news release.
The researchers also re-examined the data using only people without cancer or heart disease. This was done to find out if these health conditions and their related costs could reduce a person’s ability to earn wealth and possibly skew any link between wealth and longevity.
But even in this group of healthy people, the family link between wealth and longevity remained.
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SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, July 23, 2021