- the richest cohort of middle-age American men could expect to live until about 83
- the poorest, to 76
- the richest American males had gained 6 years in life expectancy, living to 89 on average,
- while life expectancy for the poorest men hadn’t improved
- men who were among the top 1% of income earners lived 15 years longer than men at the bottom 1%
- For women at the extremes of the income distribution, life expectancy differed by 10 years
Average life expectancy in the US dropped for the 2-nd year in a row
- according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The grim trend stems from a toxic mixture of:
--- more drug- and alcohol-related deaths and
--- more heart disease and obesity in many parts of the country.
--- And it puts Americans at a higher risk of early death compared to their counterparts in other wealthy countries.
But what’s often lost in the conversation about the uptick in mortality here
- is that this trend isn’t affecting all Americans.
- In fact, there’s one group in the US that’s actually doing better than ever: the rich.
- While poor and middle-class Americans are dying earlier these days,
- the wealthiest among us are enjoying unprecedented longevity.
So when we talk about life expectancy slipping
- what we should also talk about is the growing problem of health inequality in America.
- And it’s an increasingly urgent discussion, health researchers are warning,
- because of policy changes on the horizon that are poised to make the mortality gap even wider.
- Some of these policies will hamper access to medical care
- (such as failing to fund CHIP, the health insurance program for low-income children)
- but others that aren’t even directly related to health care
- like tax cuts — may have even more insidious effects on the American mortality gap.