as mentioned in Being poor is a bigger health risk than being fat or having high blood pressure, a major study has concluded.
The study is the first to compare the impact of low socioeconomic status on health with other major risk factors.
Politicians are being urged to take low socioeconomic status into account when forming health policies after a study of 1.7 million people found that it was a big risk factor for ill health and early death.
Poorer people’s life expectancy was reduced by 2.1 years, greater than the reductions associated with high blood pressure, obesity and high alcohol consumption, of 1.6, 0.7 and 0.5 years respectively.
Being inactive reduced life expectancy by 2.4 years, and smoking and diabetes by 4.8 and 3.9 years.
as declared in This makes social rank a bigger risk factor for illness and premature death than either high alcohol consumption or obesity, and it nearly equals the risk posed by physical inactivity, researchers said.
Social rank could be improved by government policies on tax or education, for example, said the study, published in The Lancet.
The study was the first attempt to weigh the health risk of socioeconomic status against other “modifiable” factors, the authors said, at least in high-income countries.
On average, a low social rank shaved over 25 months off the average lifespan, compared with six months for heavy alcohol intake and eight months for obesity, according to Lifepath, a European Commission-funded consortium that conducted the study.
“Low socioeconomic status is one of the strongest predictors of premature mortality worldwide, but health policymakers often do not consider it a risk factor to target,” Lifepath said in a statement.
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