Middle class lives 'being cut short'
14 September 2015 09:31
Middle class people's health can suffer from work pressures
Middle class Britons can expect to have eight fewer years of healthy life than the most advantaged in society, according to a top doctor's new research.
Sir Michael Marmot, special advisor on health inequities to the Royal College of Physicians, is calling on the Government to improve the nation's health by focusing on the entire social spectrum.
He claims people's health is suffering as a result of social inequality.
And he says it is not just the most disadvantaged who are being affected but those in the middle classes as well, with people's health depending on their social standing.
But he says there is no biological reason why the average person should not enjoy the same good health as people at the top of society.
Sir Michael, a professor of epidemiology at University College London, says that although the country's health is improving there has been no real change in the gap between the very wealthy and the very poor.
He says everyone is affected, meaning the higher up the social spectrum they are the more years of healthy life they are likely to have.
Sir Michael, who is also president of the World Medical Association, says while some people are dying earlier as a result, others are suffering a decline into poorer health earlier than their better-off peers.
In some cases, that means the sooner onset of disability while in others it results in people suffering a decline in their mobility, cognitive ability, breathing or strength at a younger age, he says.
Those facing major health issues can travel with peace of mind thanks to a medical travel insurance policy.
Sir Michael believes that the key to closing the health gap lies in addressing social issues like stressful working conditions and limited education.
Doing that, rather than just concentrating on traditional approaches to healthcare improvements, he says, could help save more than 200,000 average lives every year.
Sir Michael published his research in his latest book, The Health Gap.