US lifespan gap has widened between rich and poor

April 12, 2016 02:02


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NEW YORK - The gap in life expectancy between rich and poor Americans has grown wider since the start of the century, with the wealthiest men outliving the most destitute men by nearly 15 years, according to a study published on Monday.

The average lifespans of US men and women in the top 5 percent income bracket rose by more than two years between 2001 and 2014, while at the bottom 5 percent, life expectancy nearly stagnated, researchers found.

Differences in lifespan were most pronounced in comparisons of the extremely wealthy and extremely poor, according to the study analyzing tax and death records. It was published in the Journal of the American Association Medical Association.

In the top 1 percent, men and women outlived the bottom 1 percent by 14.6 and 10.1 years respectively, it said. US men in the bottom 1 percent have life expectancies similar to men in developing countries such as Sudan and Pakistan, it said.

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