Study: Elderly Mortality Rates Go Up When The Economy Is Good

Researchers at the Netherlands' Leyden Academy on Vitality and Aging admit to being "baffled" by the findings of a study that focused on citizens in 19 developed countries, including the US.

What's the Latest Development?


Researchers at the Netherlands' Leyden Academy on Vitality and Aging compared economic figures and mortality rates in 19 developed countries, including the US, Japan, and several in Europe. To their surprise, they found that with each single percentage point increase in a country's gross domestic product (GDP), mortality rose among people in their early 70s by 0.36 percent (for men) and 0.18 percent (for women). Similar statistics held true for people in their early 40s.

What's the Big Idea?

The study, published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, says that given the current recession, increases in mortality rates would seem to make sense. However, the results show otherwise, and team member Herbert Rolden says they're not quite sure why. One possible theory could be that during times of economic prosperity, younger relatives work longer and have less time to care for their elders. For what it's worth, the researchers focused on short-term fluctuations; in the long term, good economies result in lower mortality rates across the board.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Discovery News

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less