Why Rich People Live Longer than Everyone Else
Saturday, March 17, 2012
81-year-old billionaires George Soros and Warren Buffett (photos: Daniel Acker, Joshua Roberts, Bloomberg
It has been commonly assumed for a long time that the wealthy live longer than the poor. Now, some explanations are offered for why this might be true.
Education plays a critical role in the rich lasting longer. The better educated tend to live 9% longer than the less educated because the former, in part, have a stronger understanding of what it takes to live healthier lives, including smoking less and exercising more. As the number of manual labor jobs diminishes, high-incime Americans are more likely to exercise that those with lower incomes.
Social status also helps the wealthy. From Nobel Prize winners to Hollywood stars, those enjoying life in higher strata of society live longer. One study showed that Academy Award-winning actors and actresses lived four years longer nominees who didn’t win.
Wealthier neighborhoods are usually better protected from disasters, as the residents of New Orleans found out when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.
In addition, rich people tend to have higher levels of a hormone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), in their brains than the non-wealthy. DHEAS is considered important for good memory, enhancing the immune system, and staving off diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cancer.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Privilege Has Its Rewards — How Longevity Will Become The New Class Inequality (by David Hill, Singularity Hub)
Survival in Academy Award-Winning Actors and Actresses (by Donald A. Redelmeier and Sheldon M. Singh, Annals of Internal Medicine)
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