It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
If you can read this message, please contact us immediately at the following email address:
We'd like to communicate.
A low socioeconomic status is so damaging to health, it reduces life expectancy by 2.1 years. That's worse than obesity or high blood pressure and a consortium of global researchers are calling for it to be treated like any other major health risk factor.
The global study included data from 40,000 Melbournians courtesy of Cancer Council Victoria as well as studies from the UK, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy and the USA.
In these countries, researchers showed a low socioeconomic status was a major risk factor in ill health and premature death, but was rarely recognised in official health policy.
How does low socioeconomic status compare?
Current smoking reduced life expectancy by 4.8 years
Diabetes reduced life expectancy by 3.9 years
Being inactive reduced life expectancy by 2.4 years
Low socioeconomic status reduced life expectancy by 2.1 years
High blood pressure reduced life expectancy by 1.6 years
Obesity reduced life expectancy by 0.7 years
High alcohol consumption reduced life expectancy by 0.5 years
Study author Silvia Stringhini said the research showed health policies should target low socioeconomic groups if early mortality was to be avoided.
"Given the huge impact of socioeconomic status on health, it's vital that governments accept it as a major risk factor and stop excluding it from health policy," Stringhini said.