Hormone, not money, behind rich people's longer lifespan

Low levels are linked to an increased risk of cancer and reduced mental abilities.

London: If you think money is the only thing that differentiates the rich from the poor, then it is time to burst your bubble as a new study has revealed that they are "biologically different."

A team of researchers has stated "higher levels of testosterone" as the reason behind richest of us living up to eight years longer than the poorest, the Daily Mail reported.

The University College London study showed that those with the lowest household income, defined as less than 6,000 pounds a year, had 10 per cent lower testosterone levels than men earning 30,000 pounds or more.

The study of 1,880 British men and women also revealed that women whose parents were unskilled workers have testosterone levels 15 per cent higher than women whose parents had professional jobs, leaving them more at the risk of early puberty, infertility and polycystic ovaries.

Those with the least education also have low levels of cortisol, which can lead to pain, depression, insomnia and heart palpitations, and depleted levels of IGF proteins (insulin-like growth factor). Low levels are linked to an increased risk of cancer and reduced mental abilities.

Women with no qualifications were found to have 16 per cent less IGF than women with degrees. Men from the same background have eight per cent less than better-off males.

Researcher Diana Kuh said that they found socio-economic disadvantage across life, based on father's social class and the study member's education, social class and income, was associated with an adverse hormone profile. These socio-economic differences in hormone systems may play a role in explaining social inequalities in health as we age.

Kuh noted that reducing inequalities could have powerful benefits in improving the health of the population and in reducing healthcare expenditure.

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