Wednesday, January 1, 2020

More Life for the Wealthy - Less Life for the Poor

How is disparate human life valued? By "wealth"!
Chetty R, Stepner M, Abraham S, et al. The Association Between Income and Life Expectancy in the United States, 2001-2014. JAMA. 2016;315(16):1750–1766. doi:

Importance The relationship between income and life expectancy is well established but remains poorly understood.

Objectives To measure the level, time trend, and geographic variability in the association between income and life expectancy and to identify factors related to small area variation.

Design and Setting Income data for the US population were obtained from 1.4 billion deidentified tax records between 1999 and 2014. Mortality data were obtained from Social Security Administration death records. These data were used to estimate race- and ethnicity-adjusted life expectancy at 40 years of age by household income percentile, sex, and geographic area, and to evaluate factors associated with differences in life expectancy.

Exposure Pretax household earnings as a measure of income.

Main Outcomes and Measures Relationship between income and life expectancy; trends in life expectancy by income group; geographic variation in life expectancy levels and trends by income group; and factors associated with differences in life expectancy across areas.

Results The sample consisted of 1 408 287 218 person-year observations for individuals aged 40 to 76 years (mean age, 53.0 years; median household earnings among working individuals, $61 175 per year). There were 4 114 380 deaths among men (mortality rate, 596.3 per 100 000) and 2 694 808 deaths among women (mortality rate, 375.1 per 100 000). 

The analysis yielded 4 results. First, higher income was associated with greater longevity throughout the income distribution. The gap in life expectancy between the richest 1% and poorest 1% of individuals was 14.6 years (95% CI, 14.4 to 14.8 years) for men and 10.1 years (95% CI, 9.9 to 10.3 years) for women. 

Second, inequality in life expectancy increased over time. Between 2001 and 2014, life expectancy increased by 2.34 years for men and 2.91 years for women in the top 5% of the income distribution, but by only 0.32 years for men and 0.04 years for women in the bottom 5% (P < .001 for the differences for both sexes). 

Third, life expectancy for low-income individuals varied substantially across local areas. In the bottom income quartile, life expectancy differed by approximately 4.5 years between areas with the highest and lowest longevity.  Changes in life expectancy between 2001 and 2014 ranged from gains of more than 4 years to losses of more than 2 years across areas. 

Fourth, geographic differences in life expectancy for individuals in the lowest income quartile were significantly correlated with health behaviors such as smoking (r = −0.69, P < .001), but were not significantly correlated with access to medical care, physical environmental factors, income inequality, or labor market conditions. Life expectancy for low-income individuals was positively correlated with the local area fraction of immigrants (r = 0.72, P < .001), fraction of college graduates (r = 0.42, P < .001), and government expenditures (r = 0.57, P < .001).

Conclusions and Relevance In the United States between 2001 and 2014, higher income was associated with greater longevity, and differences in life expectancy across income groups increased over time. However, the association between life expectancy and income varied substantially across areas; differences in longevity across income groups decreased in some areas and increased in others. The differences in life expectancy were correlated with health behaviors and local area characteristics.
Majia's blog: Note that "local area characteristics" - especially government expenditures - can ameliorate the impact of low income.


  1. Is longer better? What sorts of things must one do to have the resources that enhance one's longevity? It is not obvious that living until ninety is preferable to living until say seventy. Of course the automatic response will be that longer is better. The quality of the life engaged in getting lots of money may be inferior to one where the person simply gets along well enough but without much extra. Of course one can look better with money for nice clothing, good dental care, and various upper middle class cuddlings including just the right body lotions, supplements and so forth.
    I am not of course against wealth, but there is danger in over valuing it. Like so many things wealth is somewhat of an illusion. Emily Dickinson has a fine poem where she discusses how much better things looked through the shop window when she could not afford them than later on when she went inside and bought them.

  2. Probably the right attitude due to our brutal and short future.

    I predict that one of the most popular sayings will be something like: I'm glad (insert name of dead relative) is not alive to see this!

  3. They always neglect the fact that most radionuclides are pyrophoric especially uranium, plutonium, radioactive lead, thorium, radium, iridium, and alkali metals like strontium90, cesium137, rsodium. The world is flooded with mined, fracked and artificial radionuclides since they stared playing with nuclear. Minute amounts of thorium and uranium dust and other radionuclide can set off wildfires and fires. Pyrohoric plutonium caused the rocky flats mess and WIPP fires
    Look at the INL wildfire that did 900,000 acres. The Wipp fires that happened when plutonium ignited kitty litter. The Santa Susana Fire that burned ventura county.
    The Chernobyl WildFires, the Mayak Wildfires, the Hanford wildfires. There are many more. The primary reason dplleted uranium is used in ammunition is because of the heat it generates on impact, from it's


    This article needs additional citations for verification.

    The pyrophoricity of hydrides and oxides forming on the surface of plutonium can cause it to look like an ember under certain conditions.
    A pyrophoric substance (from Greek: πυροφόρος, pyrophoros, 'fire-bearing') is a substance that ignites spontaneously in air at or below 54 °C (129 °F) (for gases) or within 5 minutes after coming into contact with air (for liquids and solids).[1] Examples are iron sulfide and many reactive metals including plutonium and uranium, when powdered or thinly sliced. Pyrophoric materials are often water-reactive as well and will ignite when they contact water or humid air. They can be handled safely in atmospheres of argon or (with a few exceptions) nitrogen. Class D fire extinguishers are capable of dealing with pyrophoric fires.

    1. UsesEdit

      The creation of sparks from metals is based on the pyrophoricity of small metal particles, and pyrophoric alloys are made for this purpose.[2] This has certain uses: the sparking mechanisms in lighters and various toys, using ferrocerium; starting fires without matches, using a firesteel; the flintlock mechanism in firearms; and spark-testing ferrous metals.

      Pyrophoric materialsEdit

      White phosphorus, the original "phosphor"[citation needed]
      Alkali metals (lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, caesium), including the alloy NaK
      Finely divided metals (iron,[3] aluminium,[3] magnesium,[3] calcium, zirconium[citation needed], uranium, titanium, bismuth, hafnium, thorium, osmium, neodymium)
      Some metals and alloys in bulk form (cerium, plutonium)
      Alkylated metal alkoxides or nonmetal halides (diethylethoxyaluminium, dichloro(methyl)silane)
      Potassium graphite (KC8)
      Metal hydrides (sodium hydride, lithium aluminium hydride, uranium trihydride)
      Methane tellurol (CH3TeH), an analog of methanol where tellurium replaces oxygen
      Partially or fully alkylated derivatives of metal and nonmetal hydrides (diethylaluminium hydride, trimethylaluminium, triethylaluminium, butyllithium), with a few exceptions (i.e. dimethylmercury and tetraethyllead)
      Copper fuel cell catalysts, e.g., Cu/ZnO/Al2O3[4]
      Grignard reagents (compounds of the form RMgX)
      Used hydrogenation catalysts such as palladium on carbon or Raney nickel (especially hazardous because of the adsorbed hydrogen)
      Iron sulfide: often encountered in oil and gas facilities where corrosion products in steel plant equipment can ignite if exposed to air
      Lead and carbon powders produced from decomposition of lead citrate[5][6]
      Uranium is pyrophoric, as shown in the disintegration of depleted uranium penetrator rounds into burning dust upon impact with their targets; in finely divided form it is readily ignitable, and uranium scrap from machining operations is subject to spontaneous ignition[7]
      Several compounds of plutonium are pyrophoric, and they cause some of the most serious fires occurring in United States Department of Energy facilities[8]
      Petroleum hydrocarbon (PHC) sludge
      Metalorganics of main group metals (e.g. aluminium, gallium, indium, zinc and cadmium etc.)
      Hydrazine is hypergolic with oxidants like dinitrogen tetroxide or hydrogen peroxide, but not truly pyrophoric.

      Nonmetal hydrides (arsine, phosphine,[i] diborane, germane, silane)
      Metal carbonyls (dicobalt octacarbonyl, nickel carbonyl)

      External links

      Last edited 2 months ago by OwenBlacker
      chemical compound
      List of named alloys
      Wikimedia list article
      Sodium aluminium hydride
      chemical compound

      Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless otherwise noted.
      Terms of UsePrivacyDesktop

  4. Happy New year 2020!
    Let's see what it will bring to us...more of Greta hype resulting in more and new npp?
    Thank you Majia for your articles, I really appreciate your efforts and style.
    Best wishes from Austria!

    1. Maybe Greta Thurnburg represents corporate interests, that will not do much for climate change. Some of her supporters include George Monbiot. He is very pro-nuclear. I think that nuclear catasteophies and nuclear proliferation, are more impending threats to life on earth than climate change. The combination of climate change, nuclear waste, nuclear reactors, and nuclear weapons will accelerate any such scenario's of reactor or waste sites failing catastrophically, substantially. Those who pay, attention know that.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.