Money is the fountain of immortality, unless you smoke, according to a new study by researchers at Georgetown University.
The study found that wealth, more than other socioeconomic factors, such as occupation and education, was correlated with a longer life. The survival rate for people between the ages of 65 and 85 who had at least $300,000 was 19% higher than for people with no assets. However, after $500,000, the beneficial effects of wealth wore off.
That said, the beneficial effects of wealth go only so far. The difference in survival rate between smokers and nonsmokers far outweighed any difference wealth made. The same study found that the survival rate for nonsmokers was 37% higher than it was for smokers.
“Healthcare practitioners cannot modify their patient’s wealth, but they should continue to discourage smoking,” the researchers wrote. “Wealth may be associated with longevity, but just don’t smoke.”
The research looked at a cohort of more than 6,300 adults, beginning in 1995, with a mortality follow-up of about 18 years. It was recently published in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Network Open.