Can Money Buy a Longer Life?

A recent report in JAMA found that people with higher incomes tend to have a longer life. Some experts predicted that there would be a leveling off point but none was found. It was found, however, that people with the top 1% in income lived 10 to 15 years longer than those at the bottom 1%. Having a lower income didn’t necessarily lead to the shortest lives though. The length of life varied based on where people lived. People making the least lived longer if they were from cities like New York and San Francisco compared to those living in cities like Detroit and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Public health efforts in many cities, such as smoking bans and the removal of unhealthy ingredients like trans fats probably made a difference. Cities with health-promoting efforts tend to have populations that are less obese, smoke less and have better health behaviors. According to the researchers, this data supports the idea that public-health policies can partly offset the effects of inequality. Some examples include: Salt Lake City, in which the highest income people live an average of 88 years, four years more than those in Las Vegas. In Gary, Indiana and Oklahoma City, life expectancy for lowest income groups is 77 – 78 years contrasted with New York City, where the same group has an average lifespan of 82 years. See more information in

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