Poverty Shortens Perfect Health By 8.2 Years

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A new study that assesses various behavorial and social risk factors that affect quality of life has determined that poverty affects health more than smoking, drinking or overeating, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Researchers looked at data from the National Health Interview Surveys and the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys and found:

The average person whose income level is below 200% of the federal poverty line (the bottom third of the country's population) would lose an estimated 8.2 years of perfect health, smokers 6.6 years, high school dropouts 5.1 years and the obese 4.2 years. Binge drinking and being uninsured were at the bottom.

To read the full story, visit the Chicago Tribune.

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