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National wealth refers to the total assets accumulated by United States citizens, while life expectancy is used to describe the number of years a person is expected to live. Several studies have been conducted in the past to explain the relationship between national wealth and life expectancy in the US. The majority of those studies found that national wealth either increases life expectancy or life expectancy increases with the increase in national wealth (Nash et al., 2015). The studies did not elaborate on most of the aspects influencing the relationship between national wealth and life expectancy but found a positive correlation between the two (direct proportionality).
National wealth is associated with the country’s better resources, infrastructure development, and good social amenities. When the US has substantial wealth for its citizens, such as better healthcare, people tend to live longer (Hewitt et al., 2021). For instance, affordable and accessible healthcare is likely to increase the life expectancy of citizens since they can easily access health education, preventive care, and medical supplies. US citizens in highly affluent areas have a longer life expectancy because of their access to better medical facilities and supplies. On the contrary, those living in poverty have a shorter life expectancy due to the unavailability of better healthcare. As such, national wealth leads to a longer life expectancy due to better healthcare.
National wealth means that people can easily afford and access quality information. When the nation is wealthy, its citizens will get educated in good schools and receive the best available knowledge (Nash et al., 2015). In so doing, they will be able to learn ways of better living, such as healthy eating, regular physical exercise, no smoking, limited alcohol consumption, and how to prevent chronic illnesses. With such information, citizens will practice healthy living, thus prolonging their life expectancy. People with limited and poor access to information may not practice healthy living, hence becoming susceptible to chronic illnesses, reducing their life expectancy. In this regard, national wealth and life expectancy are related.
Hewitt, A., Mascari, J., & Wagner, S. (2021). Population health management: strategies, tools, applications, and outcomes (1st ed.). Springer Publishing Company.
Nash, D., Fabius, R., Skoufalos, A., & Clarke, J. (2015). Population health: creating a culture of wellness (2nd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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Relationship between National Wealth and Life Expectancy
Long life expectancy is associated with high income. National wealth has a high influence on life expectancy. In countries with high poverty levels, there are cases of increased malnutrition and poor health, hence low life expectancy. People in these countries have limited access to healthcare, making life expectancy in these countries low (Asaria et al. 2019). Meanwhile, developed countries have advanced technology and availability of better medical equipment, enabling their citizens to have better access to healthcare. This increases life expectancy since diseases and illnesses are addressed at earlier stages through disease screening and access to prevention services. The net wealth possessed by individuals in high-income countries is higher than that of individuals in low-income countries.
Countries with high national wealth ensure that their citizens have high-income levels through income-generating opportunities. This makes it easier for people with high incomes to cater for their basic needs and also pay for better health care services because they can afford health insurance (Shkolnikov et al., 2019). With high income, one can have access to basic needs, such as a healthy diet, which leads to good health outcomes. People with high-income work for fewer hours and have a balanced healthy lifestyle which results in a low death rate and high life expectancy (Shkolnikov et al., 2019).
Developing countries have lower national wealth than developed countries and are striving to grow their economy. When the economy of a nation is growing rapidly, there is a high mortality rate because people tend to overwork, hence exposed to work-related problems, such as stress and work hazards (Karpenkа et al., 2019). Industrialization in developing countries leads to pollution, which exposes people to health hazards, such as cancer, which lowers the life expectancy of the population (Karpenkа et al., 2019).
Asaria, M., Mazumdar, S., Chowdhury, S., Mazumdar, P., Mukhopadhyay, A., & Gupta, I. (2019). Socioeconomic inequality in life expectancy in India. BMJ Global Health, 4(3), e001445. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2019-001445
Karpenkа, E., & Boriskevich, A. (2019). Growth factors of the average life expectancy. University Economic Bulletin, (41), 154-162. https://doi.org/10.31470/2306-546X-2019-41-154-162
Shkolnikov, V. M., Andreev, E. M., Tursun-Zade, R., & Leon, D. A. (2019). Patterns in the relationship between life expectancy and gross domestic product in Russia in 2005–15: a cross-sectional analysis. The Lancet Public Health, 4(4), e181-e188. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(19)30036-2
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