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Did we need an infographic to tell us that stable jobs equal healthier lives?

4:01 pm by | 4 Comments

Sometimes it seems like there is research for the sake of research.

A new infographic from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says that stable jobs equal healthier lives. Since 1977, life expectancy of U.S. males retiring at 65 has increased by six years for people in the top half of the income distribution but only 1.3 years for those in the bottom half.

Did we really need an infographic to tell us that richer people, who have sustained access to healthcare and presumably lower stress about their day-to-day existence, live longer? Did we really need an infographic telling us that unemployed people are more likely to suffer from poor health?

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A more interesting question might be if we measured the life expectancy of people in a first-world nation with universal healthcare and see whether having stable jobs had any impact on life expectancy for people at different income levels.

Then perhaps we might get a clearer answer of whether income has any impact on how long people live or whether it’s access to healthcare and better medical technology that is keeping people alive longer.

The answer might still be that people with higher incomes live longer because they can afford the new, cutting-edge technology that Joe Blow with government insurance cannot. But it would be less of a matter of employment and health insurance gained through it and more a matter of more advanced medical technology and better care.

 

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Arundhati Parmar

By Arundhati Parmar

Arundhati Parmar is the Medical Devices Reporter at MedCity News. She has covered medical technology since 2008 and specialized in business journalism since 2001. Parmar has three degrees from three continents - a Bachelor of Arts in English from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India; a Masters in English Literature from the University of Sydney, Australia and a Masters in Journalism from Northwestern University in Chicago. She has sworn never to enter a classroom again.
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4 comments
pjandy
pjandy

Sure we knew this but it's nice to see it rooted in data and clearly articulated

Gilles Potvin
Gilles Potvin

Even better (i.e. safer) cars, dependent on income, may have an impact on life expectancy.

Gilles Potvin
Gilles Potvin

Higher income also correlates to better housing, cleaner and healthier living environment - away from pollution sources.

Gilles Potvin
Gilles Potvin

There's more than access to better medecine. Higher income corellates to access to higher quality (more expensive) food and better information about health in general (fitness) which are likely to induce healthier lifestyle.