"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Study calls poverty a “major risk factor for death in the US”

April 19, 2023 – More than 183,000 people died within the United States in 2019, largely attributable to poverty. That’s as many lives as Alzheimer’s, accidents, strokes and diabetes claimed, and ten times as many murders as this yr.

This figure comes from a brand new evaluation of knowledge from the Panel study on income dynamicsa survey that collects information on participants' income and health to look at the links between poverty and mortality.

David Brady, PhD, a professor of public policy on the University of California, Riverside, and his colleagues found that poverty, defined as lower than half the median income, was related to lower survival rates starting at about age 40. By age 70, this gap widened.

“Ultimately, we propose that poverty should be considered a major risk factor for death in the United States,” Brady’s group reported this week in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Although previous studies have shown Poverty can harm your healthAccording to the researchers, there have been no studies thus far that quantify the impact of poverty on mortality.

Looking on the period from 1997 to 2019, they found that cumulative poverty—living in poverty over the past ten years—was related to a 70% higher risk of death than never living in poverty. Poverty in any yr increased an individual's risk of death by greater than 40% in comparison with not being poor.

The variety of deaths related to poverty was just like estimates for obesity. Smoking, one other risk factor for premature death, was linked to an estimated 480,000 deaths in 2019, the researchers found.

There are high rates of poverty within the United States, which can explain why comparatively lower life expectancythe researchers wrote. Brady said that anti-poverty measures could lead on to people living healthier and more productive lives.