THE 23rd of July, 2021, is a FRIDAY. (Health News) — A new study suggests that people who exercise regularly have a lower risk of heart disease. While money may not be able to buy happiness, new research suggests that it may be able to help Americans live longer lives.
When taking into consideration one’s starting point in life, “our findings suggest that accumulating wealth is important for health at the individual level,” explained Dr. Greg Miller, a faculty fellow at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research, which was conducted in Chicago. Consequently, from the standpoint of public health, policies that assist and protect individuals’ ability to achieve financial security are required.
However, according to Miller, a senior author of the new study, far too many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck with little or nothing to fall back on in times of need.
A total of 5,400 adult participants in the Midlife in the United States project provided data for Miller’s team to use in the research.
During the mid-1990s, the researchers compared the net worth of participants (with an average age of 47 years) with their mortality rates 24 years later.
The takeaway: People who were wealthier in their midlife tended to live longer lives.
However, the researchers wondered if there were any other factors at play, such as familial influences.
When they narrowed their focus to a subset of nearly 2,500 siblings and twin pairs, they discovered a similar association, indicating that the link between wealth and longevity goes beyond genetics or common family experiences.
The findings were published on July 23 in the Journal of the American Medical Association Health Forum.
Because they are comparing siblings within the same family, the within-family association provides strong evidence that an association between wealth accumulation and life expectancy exists, according to corresponding author Eric Finegood, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan.
In addition, the researchers re-examined the data using only people who were not suffering from cancer or heart disease. This was done in order to determine whether these health conditions and their associated costs could impair a person’s ability to accumulate wealth and, as a result, potentially distort any relationship between wealth and longevity.
However, even among this group of otherwise healthy individuals, the familial link between wealth and longevity persisted.
HealthinAging.org offers resources on wellness and prevention.
SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, July 23, 2021