DIW: Wealthy women live longer

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According to a study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), women live much longer if they earn well.

(2010-08-03) Life expectancy also has to do with income. This is also confirmed by a recent study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW). Accordingly, women who have a very high self-generated income have a significantly higher life expectancy and on average live longer than women who earn little. On average, women with a high income live three years longer than others.

The DIW published its study on Tuesday. When presenting the results, Friedrich Breyer said: "Women who belong to the top ten percent of earners live about three years longer than women from the lowest ten percent". However, the authors can only speculate about the exact circumstances. It is presumably due to the fact that rich women have a higher level of education and that health awareness increases as income increases.

Other studies in men have found similar results and also found a relationship between life and income. Due to the still established social roles, it is difficult to separate the work income of women from household income. For men, household income is often the same as their own income. In the DIW study, household income was separated from work income for the first time. Groups of women who had paid into the pension funds for at least 25 years and died between 1994 and 2005 were examined. "We clearly see that women with high working incomes also live longer," said Breyer. However, the effect in women is only about half as strong as in men. The institute wants to investigate why this is the case.

On the other hand, poverty makes people sick and life expectancy continues to fall. A DGB study, which was presented in early 2010, showed that every fifth unemployed person suffers from health problems. A 2008 study by the IGES Institute certified unemployment as "favoring diseases". This increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases by two and lets those affected die earlier. (sb)

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