High income: lower disability rates

August 17, 2006

A University of California-Berkeley-led study has found health disparities exist even between those with higher incomes.

"What was unusual was that we found that people in the middle class were still at a disadvantage, compared with those at just a slightly higher income," said Meredith Minkler, professor of health and social behavior and lead author. "The fact that there's a significant difference between people at 600 and 700 percent above the poverty level was a striking finding of this study." Although broken down by age, income and household size, the study showed, for example, a 65-year-old man making about $50,000 had 44 percent more chance of disability than one making $58,000.

"We have lots of evidence that wealthier people in society are healthier and live longer than the poorest," said Minkler, "but less settled is whether you see this gradient with respect to disability." The study said less smoking, less stress, better access to health care and healthier, safer environments are some possible explanations.

Co-authors of the study are Esme Fuller-Thomson of the University of Toronto and Dr. Jack Guralnik of the National Institute on Aging.

The research appears in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: A new app facilitates number and arithmetic learning in children with special educational needs

Related Stories

Bacterial guests double as bodyguards

May 4, 2011

The bacterium Escherichia coli can be a scientist’s best friend when it’s being used as a tool for biological research, but some strains of it are better known for their nasty effects on humans as a causative agent ...

We spend more time sick now than a decade ago

December 13, 2010

Increased life expectancy in the United States has not been accompanied by more years of perfect health, reveals new research published in the December issue of the Journal of Gerontology.

Recommended for you

Chimpanzees shed light on origins of human walking

October 6, 2015

A research team led by Stony Brook University investigating human and chimpanzee locomotion have uncovered unexpected similarities in the way the two species use their upper body during two-legged walking. The results, reported ...

The hand and foot of Homo naledi

October 6, 2015

The second set of papers related to the remarkable discovery of Homo naledi, a new species of human relative, have been published in scientific journal, Nature Communications, on Tuesday, 6 October 2015.

Who you gonna trust? How power affects our faith in others

October 6, 2015

One of the ongoing themes of the current presidential campaign is that Americans are becoming increasingly distrustful of those who walk the corridors of power – Exhibit A being the Republican presidential primary, in which ...

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.