In the News (from Itogi.ru): “Social inequality is killing us, and in the literal sense of the word. It is known that long-lived and healthy people do not live in wealthy countries, but where there is more trust in relationships between people. Scientists found an explanation for this phenomenon.
“Studying the health of people, we can learn about the structure of society, and studying the structure of society, we can learn about health: The higher the social contrasts in the country, the greater the difference in mortality between the top and the bottom layers of society. For example, in Glasgow, life expectancy for the lower classes is 54 years, and for the elite it is 82. And in Finland, where the gap is small, the difference in mortality between the upper and lower ranks is only two, not three times greater.
“But most surprisingly, in the countries where the general level of socio-economic inequality is low, everyone lives longer: both the lower and the upper classes, and the overall health of the people there is much better. Inequality is bad not only for those at the ‘bottom,’ but also for those at the ‘top.’ Where society is more homogeneous in social terms, all its members have more opportunities to control and predict their own lives.
“The rules of social interaction should be clear to everyone and recognized as fair. If the lower strata of society and the elite perceive the established order as unfair and dishonest, then in this situation, stress is guaranteed to virtually all parts of the hierarchy: the middle, the lower, and the higher. And the increasing nationwide mortality is but a reflection of this state of affairs.”