lanations for the income-linked differences”, said Dr. Jack Guralnik, chief of the NIA laboratory of epidemiology, demography and biometry, and a member of the research team.
"Health behaviors explain some of this," Guralnik said. "Also, people with lower incomes tend to have less access to medical care."
But, Guralnik said, "There's something going on here that is not easy to understand, something related to what is going on in life at lower income levels."
“The NIA will continue to look at differences in disability”, he said. "Better understanding of why income status has an impact on health can lead to better interventions," Guralnik noted.
"One of the things we can conjecture is that people who are upper class have slightly better medical care, a better environment in which to live and fewer hassles," said Minkler, a professor of health and social behavior at the University of California at Berkeley School of Public Health.
“Money can also help reduce disability though improvements in the home”, she said. "You can widen doorways and put in ramps," Minkler said. "Ultimately, that can make the difference between living at home and being in an institution."
While the United States has "the best-educated, best cared-for population in the history of the world," she said, an increase in disability is inevitable as the number of older people increases. "It's important to find out whether slight increments in income make a difference," Minkler sad.
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