Your wealth could impact how long you live, a new study shows.
Research published in The Journals of Gerontology Wednesday found that richer men and women are living an average of nine years longer than poor people.
University College London specialists conducted a study with over 25,000 adults over age 50 in the United States and England and divided participants into three groups based on their total household wealth.
The study aimed to pinpoint when adults were beginning to show signs of age-related disabilities such as struggling to get out of bed, CNN reported.
Researchers found that wealth was the biggest socioeconomic factor in predicting when these challenges presented themselves. People with more money, the study found, were living “disability-free” lives for nearly a decade longer than those with less money.
What’s more, specialists were able to determine disparities between the genders.
Wealthy women in the study were expected to live 33 disability-free years, while poor women could only expect 23 to 24.6 healthy years. As for men, the richer group was expected to live 31 years disability-free, while the less wealthy were expected to live 22 to 23 healthy years.
“While life expectancy is a useful indicator of health, the quality of life as we get older is also crucial,” author Paola Zaninotto, a public health specialist said in a statement. “By measuring healthy life expectancy we can get an estimate of the number of years of life spent in favorable states of health or without disability.”
“The U.S. must make greater efforts into reducing health inequalities,” Zaninotto said, adding that the “inequalities in healthy life expectancy exist in both countries and are of similar magnitude.”
To help combat this problem, Zaninotto concluded, “In both countries, efforts in reducing health inequalities should target people from disadvantaged socioeconomic groups.”