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Poverty Takes Years Off Life Span

January 25, 2010

Poverty might be worse for your health than smoking or obesity, according to a recent study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.  The study found that poverty can take years off the life span.  People living in households earning up to twice the U.S. poverty level lost 8.2 years of perfect health.  This is more than smokers, who lost 6.6 years, and the obese, who lost 4.2 years.  High school dropouts were found to have 5.1 fewer years of perfect health.

Issues such as poverty and high school dropout rates are socioeconomic problems.  However, as this study shows, they can have more of an effect on health than medical problems such as smoking or obesity.  This study suggests that public health should focus not just on medical issues, but on reducing poverty and improving high school graduation rates.

One Comment leave one →
  1. shannon45 permalink
    March 30, 2010 8:01 pm

    yes, i know. i’m in very poor health and also poverty makes you consider suicide which is obviously going to cut life short. i went years and years with no food for days on end. It destroyed my health.

    So between poverty and the health effects of isolation seems we’re screwed.

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