View Poll Results: Do the rich live longer because they are more intelligent?

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  • No, intelligence has nothing to do with lifespan

    4 7.69%
  • The rich aren't more intelligent than the poor

    5 9.62%
  • It might be one factor in the equation

    7 13.46%
  • Access to healthcare is the most important factor

    11 21.15%
  • Yes, intelligence is a huge factor in living healthily and staying healthy

    25 48.08%
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Thread: Do the Wealthy Live Longer Because They are More Intelligent?

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    Do the Wealthy Live Longer Because They are More Intelligent?

    This article makes the argument that the longer lifespan of those with a high socio-economic status is because of the documented higher intelligence of those with higher incomes, not because of lack of healthcare access. What do you think of this theory?

    I quoted some pertinent stuff from the article but suggest reading the whole thing below

    Forbes.com: Why the Rich Live Longer

    he first leg of that argument has been established for many decades. In modern developed countries IQ correlates about 0.5 with measures of income and social status--a figure telling us that IQ is not everything but also making plain that it powerfully influences where people end up in life. The mean IQ of Americans in the Census Bureau's "professional and technical" category is 111. The mean for unskilled laborers is 89. An American whose IQ is in the range between 76 and 90 (i.e., well below average) is eight times as likely to be living in poverty as someone whose IQ is over 125.

    Second leg: Intelligent people tend to be the most knowledgeable about health-related issues. Health literacy matters more than it used to. In the past big gains in health and longevity were associated with improvements in public sanitation, immunization and other initiatives not requiring decisions by ordinary citizens. But today the major threats to health are chronic diseases--which, inescapably, require patients to participate in the treatment, which means in turn that they need to understand what's going on. Memorable sentence in the Gottfredson-Deary paper in the February 2004 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science: "For better or worse, people are substantially their own primary health care providers." The authors invite you to conceptualize the role of "patient" as having a job, and argue that, as with real jobs in the workplace, intelligent people will learn what's needed more rapidly, will understand what's important and what isn't and will do best at coping with unforeseen emergencies.

    It is clear that a lot of patients out there are doing their jobs very badly. Deary was coauthor of a 2003 study in which childhood IQs in Scotland were related to adult health outcomes. A central finding: Mortality rates were 17% higher for each 15-point falloff in IQ. One reason for the failure of broad-based access to reduce the health gap is that low-IQ patients use their access inefficiently. A Gottfredson paper in the January 2004 issue of the Journal of Personality & Social Psychology cites a 1993 study indicating that more than half of the 1.8 billion prescriptions issued annually in the U.S. are taken incorrectly. The same study reported that 10% of all hospitalizations resulted from patients' inability to manage their drug therapy. A 1998 study reported that almost 30% of patients were taking medications in ways that seriously threatened their health. Noncompliance with doctors' orders is demonstrably rampant in low-income clinics, reaching 60% in one cited study. Noncompliance is often taken to signify a lack of patient motivation, but it often clearly reflects a simple failure to understand directions...

    ...And then there is the third leg of the IQargument: the lifestyle question. Smoking, obesity and sedentary living are more prevalent among low-status citizens. A 2001 study by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention found that college graduates are three times as likely to live healthily as those who never got beyond high school. Not clear is what the government can do about this.

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    Re: Do the Wealthy Live Longer Because They are More Intelligent?

    It's likely a combination of all sorts of factors. Do the wealthy have advantages over other people in everyday life? Yes. Should we care? No. All you can control is your own decisions and actions. The wealthy are not responsible for the poor lifestyle/health decisions of those who may not have the income level they have.
    "Loyalty only matters when there's a hundred reasons not to be-" Gen. Mattis

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    Re: Do the Wealthy Live Longer Because They are More Intelligent?

    We can care without feeling a burden of guilt, don't you think? I care about other people, but I don't feel it's my moral obligation to save everyone from themselves, nor do I think that society as a whole has that responsibility.
    Last edited by MyOwnDrum; 12-19-09 at 09:41 AM.

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    Re: Do the Wealthy Live Longer Because They are More Intelligent?

    Presuming that the wealthy -do- live longer, I'd say there are -several- reasons for it, not just because of any greater level of intelligence.

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    Re: Do the Wealthy Live Longer Because They are More Intelligent?

    I voted that it is a big factor. Intelligence is also a big reason why people get rich in the first place. Less intelligent people are less likely to advance in life economically.

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    Re: Do the Wealthy Live Longer Because They are More Intelligent?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyOwnDrum View Post
    Noncompliance with doctors' orders is demonstrably rampant in low-income clinics, reaching 60% in one cited study. Noncompliance is often taken to signify a lack of patient motivation, but it often clearly reflects a simple failure to understand directions...
    Noncompliance isn't necessarily because of lack of patient motivation or failure to understand directions. It could also be because of inability for a lifestyle change.

    For example, laborers with back problems. While their doctor may advise them not to do any heavy lifting, their boss has hired them specifically for that purpose and likely isn't trained to do much other work. That's not the fault of the patient.

    Quote Originally Posted by MyOwnDrum View Post
    Smoking, obesity and sedentary living are more prevalent among low-status citizens. A 2001 study by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention found that college graduates are three times as likely to live healthily as those who never got beyond high school.
    Smoking and eating too much food are often coping mechanisms for stress, of which low-status citizens have much of. The sedentary living can also be attributed to not having the time to get exercise consistently.

    Low status citizens often work long hours with a high amount stress to perform from their bosses. This is on top of any family stress, which is likely since low status citizens are less educated, including with regard to sex education and birth control.

    So the lifestyle of many low status workers is that they often work long hours with little respect from their bosses and high pressure to perform for minimum pay and when they get home they have to take care of their children and then sleep and wake up to do it all over again. Because their time is taken up with working for basic living or watching their children, low status citizens don't have an ability to healthily cope with those constant stresses. This leads to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as smoking, overeating, drinking, or illegal drugs.

    Office workers often contributes to a sedentary lifestyle because of their job, but the nature of their job often prevents them from getting the exercise they need. They get too tired to exercise and want to relax whenever they get the chance.

    All of those factors lead to a lower standard of health.

    There's a few things that can be done.

    Businesses can be made to provide exercise time at work, while the government can provide basic gym memberships or simple exercise equipment to be used at home. This can be as simple as a small exercise cycle and dumbbells for basic weightlifting.

    Institute a mandatory number of days off per week for workers, such as 1 day off per week. This will allow workers plenty of time to rest between the work week and recharge. This will reduce stresses.

    Universal mental health care will also help too. Smoking, drinking, and illegal drug use is often a symptom of self-medication for mental illness. Government can provide free counseling and mental health medication and low status citizens can take advantage of it. By helping people with their mental illness and disorders, they can take better care of themselves.

    Community young programs are important too, as they keep the children busy and safe while the parent works. It also helps to better socialize children and give them a better education overall.

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    Re: Do the Wealthy Live Longer Because They are More Intelligent?

    I don't know if it's accurate to say that the wealthy live longer BECAUSE they are more intelligent. However, there are several traits correlated with both wealth and long lifespans: Intelligence, higher levels of happiness, lower levels of obesity, lower levels of smoking, access to better medical care, more stable marriages, not working physically dangerous jobs, etc.

    I don't think that any of those traits by themselves cause the wealthy to live longer. There is definitely a correlation...but I think it might be just as plausible to hypothesize that the intelligent live longer because they are wealthier, rather than vice versa.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 12-20-09 at 02:04 AM.
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    Re: Do the Wealthy Live Longer Because They are More Intelligent?

    The people of the Ryukyu Islands have the longest lifespans on earth, on average, and there has been intense research into why. Most of it relates to their diet. It's nutrient rich and they receive high levels of omega fatty acids since the population tends to be more on the pescetarian side (eating only fish but no other meats). The population there is largely centered in the middle of prestine forests, and their position on the ocean gives them upwind access to air flows that don't bring pollution from China their way. Foremost, they have a slower paced lifestyle and a deep sense of community.

    I believe knowledge is power and the rich tend to have better access to education and more importantly the means to change their lives radically. It's important to note though that lifestyle changes don't require a lot of money if the goal is to be healthier and longer lived.

    Mostly I think it's people's priorities that affect their lifespans more than anything. We all know what's good for us but how many people actually alter their lives for the better? We live in a culture of instant gratification, and the fast lane. Some of the richest people in the world live in the U.S., and yet the longest lifespan record still goes to a small island in the pacific.
    Last edited by Orion; 12-20-09 at 03:03 AM.

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    Re: Do the Wealthy Live Longer Because They are More Intelligent?

    On a side note; Money and intelligence are often not related at all...










    Lifestyles of the Rich and Stupid | Get Rich Slowly

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    Re: Do the Wealthy Live Longer Because They are More Intelligent?

    The brain is effected by the overall physical health. The healthier the body, the healthier the mind.

    The more people are exposed to stress, the more health problems they face, the less their brains function.

    That said, from experience I believe that there are two kinds of stress. Work stress ie: working long hours, having to deal with work-related problems etc... That kind of stress proved to be healthy for me. The reward of being creative and useful, the pleasure of being successful etc...

    On the other hand there is the stress of being jobless. Unable to pay bills, the fear of losing your home, the fear of not being able to raise your family properly etc.. That to me is the kind of stress that creates noticeable health problems.

    I've been through both cases of stress and I've noticed my health go down the drain in the latter case, not the former. Also my brain functioned better when I was actively involved in useful work projects.
    "True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubteth often, and changeth his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubteth not; he knoweth all things but his own ignorance." -- Akhenaton
    To understand does not mean to support or to excuse

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