Wealth 'could be the key to long life'

People with greater wealth tend to live longer than those on lower incomes, according to a new study.

The Economic and Social Research Council found that people from a lower socio-economic class who are less well educated have shorter life expectancies.

This was said to be partly because they are more likely to suffer from conditions such as depression, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

Professor Nazroo, a researcher at the University of Manchester, commented: "Increases in life expectancy raise major challenges for public policy.

"Among these is the need to respond to marked inequalities in economic position and life expectancy at older ages."

The study also showed that people who choose to take early retirement tend to enjoy better health than those who have been forced to retire at a young age.

According to the most recent government figures, the average life expectancy of a British male is 77.2 years, compared with 81.5 for women.

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