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Complicating the Correlation Between Wealth and Life Expectancy

In a recent publication, researchers argue that there are flaws in past studies showing that, for the US population, wealth correlates with a sizeable increase in life expectancy. Those studies failed to consider the highly dynamic nature of wealth. Only a fraction of the population maintains a given level of wealth for decades: individual fortunes rise and fall quite rapidly. Taking this into account, the data actually shows that the size of the wealth effect for life expectancy is half of that previously estimated.

This is something of a distraction, however. The only real methodology by which wealth can be used to buy additional years of healthy life is to invest it into the right forms of medical research and development, meaning the establishment of rejuvenation therapies based on the SENS model of damage repair. Unfortunately all too few wealthy individuals have realized that this option is on the table. We can hope that this will change in the years ahead, as the first rejuvenation therapies worthy of the name make their way to the clinic.

New research results challenge previous findings of huge differences in life expectancy between the rich and those at the bottom of the income scale. In real life people donĀ“t necessarily stay poor or stay rich, as assumed in previous research, and economists have now found a way to take this mobility between income-classes into account providing a more realistic way to calculate life expectancy for people from different walks of society. Their results show that in reality the difference between the lifespan of a rich and a poor person is really not that big.

In 2016 a research team showed that high-income people in the US can expect to live 6.5 years longer at age 40 than low-income individuals. The existing method assumes that the poor stay poor and the rich stay rich for the rest of their lives. In reality, however, over a ten-year period half of the poorest people actually move into groups with better incomes and likewise, half of the rich leak down into lower income classes. The mortality of those who move to a different income class is significantly different from those who stay in the same class.

When accounting for income mobility, life expectancy for a 40-year-old man in the upper income groups is 77.6 years compared with 75.2 for a man in poorer groups - a difference of 2.4 years. For women the difference between high and low-income groups is 2.2 years. However, without taking the income mobility into account the life expectancy difference was twice as big - around five years - for both men and women. Using the method, the authors suggest that the difference in the US is three years rather than 6.5.

Link: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-10/uoc-irp102618.php

Comments

There is rich, and then there is ultra-rich. The study probably didn't look at those getting youth blood transfusions (Soros, QoE, Rockefeller). Fortunately, the most helpful things one can do right now to extend life are very affordable: calorie restriction and a growing list of identified herbals. I'll bet if you took out the effects of obesity, exercise, and education, there would be little if any difference between rich and poor.

Posted by: Tom Schaefer at November 2nd, 2018 8:53 AM

Being extremely poor can have quite bad consequences for your health and longevity. Being richer you can avoid bad food/residence and have access to medical help, better education and lifestyle. If you don't have to take a stressful or unhealthy job and you outsource the unhealthy chores to the working poor then you have a clear advantage. However, there are diminishing returns. Jumping from extremely poor to somehow poor probably does the biggest return. And if you are upper middle class the next benefit is to become very reach to not have to work full time and being able to pick custom doctors and do medical tourism...

Of course if you make pure choices having more moola gives you more possibilities follow bad choices like doing drugs, overeating, alcohol abuse and such.

Also let's not forget that Steve Jobs died at a pretty early age despite of all his billions and gaming the system to get faster on the transplant waiting list.

CR and intermittent fasting are cheap cashwise but there is an opportunity cost in reduced performance and energy. Still achievable at almost every income level.

Posted by: cuberat at November 2nd, 2018 10:01 AM

I think that increasing my wealth would just be what I need to increase my chances of survival. However, I am limited by chronic fatigue such that I am too disabled to work and earn momey. Howevr, this may be a blessing since I am not exposed to the pressures of modern society and I am not at all experiencing the stress of modernity. The only things of modern life affecting my health for the worse could be pollution being water pollution, food pollution and air pollution. The adverse effects of pollution can be remedied by moving to a remoter area, but I do not have the financial means to live wherever I want. During my valuable waking hours, I am trying to think up a plan about what I can do to get rich so I can save myself. I have never been materialistic nor have I desired money for satisfying greed, but I just want to live and be free such that I can enjoy life on earth; I am confined to my room most of the day, but I really enjoy being conscious & I have dreams. I have been unable to comment on this site before because I couldn't digest the info sometimes and it was too much for me to think about what to write. Now I just want to express my enthusiasm & gratitude, and I hope that I can turn my confinement & disability into something useful for SENS. I have language & communication skills, I've become a polyglot since there wasn't much I could do these years being bedridden. I would do anything to help SENS and I have thought about blogging for SENS or anti-aging causes in all languages I know, but I need to know whether people in the anti-aging/SENS research community have use for someone like me who has limitless free time & unused mental power. If I had lots of money, or if ever I won the lottery, I'd give it all to SENS, but right now the only most valuable thing I can offer is my time + brain.

Posted by: Purely Biological at November 2nd, 2018 9:48 PM

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