September 17, 2009

I'd like to thank the Academy...

Earlier this week, there was a post about the connection between social status and health. Suffice it to say there is one and it's big.

In fact, there is what epidemiologist and author Michael Marmot calls "a social gradient" for health and mortality. It's not just that the very poor are sicker and more likely to die sooner, although that is true. It's also the case that there's a difference in health and mortality at every level, i.e. the very rich have better health outcomes than the rich, who have it better than the well off, who have it better than the middling sort and so on down the line.

Again, money is part of it but not all of it. A big part is status.

Here's a very interesting finding. Two researchers, Donald Redelmeier and Sheldon Singh looked at health and mortality data for actors nominated for Academy Awards over 72 years. They found that Oscar winners on average lived four years longer than those who were nominated but didn't win. The non-winners were highly respected actors with plenty of film credits and a healthy income, but there was some kind of magic boost in the recognition an award like that give.

The same kind of pattern shows up all over the place.

LINKS are on strike today. We're hoping they'll settle by tomorrow.


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