FRIDAY, July 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Money may not buy happiness, but new research suggests it could at least help Americans live longer.
“Our results suggest that wealth creation is important for health at the individual level, even after taking into account where you start in life,” said Greg Miller, professor at the Institute for Policy Research. from Northwestern University, Chicago. “So from a public health perspective, policies that support and protect the ability of individuals to achieve financial security are needed.”
But far too many Americans are living on paychecks with little or nothing to fall back on when needed, added Miller, lead author of the new study.
For the study, Miller’s team analyzed data from 5,400 adult participants in the Midlife Project in the United States.
The researchers compared participants’ net worth (average age, 47) in the mid-1990s and their death rates 24 years later.
Bottom Line: Those with greater wealth in their 40s tended to live longer.
But the researchers wondered if other factors – perhaps familial – might also be at play.
When they focused on a subset of nearly 2,500 siblings and twins, they found a similar association, suggesting that the link between wealth and longevity goes beyond genetics or shared family experiences.
The results were published on July 23 in JAMA Health Forum.
“Association within the family provides strong evidence that there is an association between wealth accumulation and life expectancy, because the comparison of siblings within the same family controls the whole. of the life experience and biology they share, ”corresponding author Eric Finegood, a postdoctoral fellow, said in an academic press release.
The researchers also re-examined the data using only people without cancer or heart disease. This was done to find out if these health problems and their associated costs could reduce a person’s ability to get rich and possibly skew any connection between wealth and longevity.
But even in this healthy group of people, the family connection between wealth and longevity has remained.
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SOURCE: Northwestern University, press release, July 23, 2021