I just watched a former Hollywood bigwig give up his wealth to move from Beverly Hills to a trailer park. "Money doesn't buy happiness!" he lamented. He now knows his neighbors in the trailer camp, unlike those stuck-up people in Beverley Hills.
We may surmise that people in privileged jobs and economic positions (those who are better educated and have more responsibilities) might have more illness, pain and depression. Woe are they!
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released the results of the 2009 National Health Interview Survey.
Here is what the NHIS tells us about Americans rich and poor, educated and uneducated.
Ability to perform nine specific physical activities:
- Level of education was inversely associated with difficulty in any and in each of the nine activities; as education increased, the percentage of adults with difficulty performing the nine physical activities decreased.
- Level of education was positively associated with health status; 75 percent of adults with a bachelor's degree or higher were in excellent or very good health compared with 38 percent of adults with less than a high school diploma.
- Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher were less likely to have migraine headaches, neck pain, lower back pain, or pain in the face or jaw, compared with adults who did not graduate from high school.
- Adults with at least a bachelor's degree were less likely than other adults to be current smokers and more likely to have never smoked.
Sadness and hopelessness:
- Level of education was inversely associated with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness or that everything is an effort; the highest percentage of adults with these feelings was among those with less than a high school diploma, and those least likely to have these feelings were those with a bachelor's degree or higher.
Of course we should pity the rich and educated -- just not as much as the poor and uneducated!
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