October 21, 2010
By Robert Frank
It is a sad fact of socioeconomics that the wealthy tend to lead healthier, longer lives than do the poor. Now scientists have gone a step further, finding a specific hormone that links wealth with a longer life.
The hormone is called DHEAS–or dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate–a natural steroid produced by the brain, adrenal glands and sexual organs. Those with higher levels of DHEAS tend to exercise more, have more hobbies and have closer relationships with friends and family. They also tend to live longer.
Researchers from the University College London, working on the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, studied thousands of people over the age of 50 and found that wealthier people had higher levels of DHEAS.
They also found higher levels of a second hormone–growth factor I (IGF-I)–in those who are wealthier. The two hormones help regulate the body and control reactions to stress.
“A striking new finding is that the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate [DHEAS] that predicts life expectancy also follows a social gradient: less wealth, lower levels of DHEAS,” said Prof. Michael Marmot of the university’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.
The implication is that wealth brings freedom and time to eat well, exercise, enjoy various pastimes and stay closer to family and friends.
Remember how one person defines wealth – differs from another definitions….There are many third world countries – where we would look at the people as impoverished and in their mind’s eye their sustainable life styles (unlike ours) makes them very wealthy.