Rates of obesity, tobacco use, depression and other health-risk indicators are higher among people with lower income levels and less education, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (PDF)
As part of its 35th annual report on overall U.S. health, the center included for the first time a special section on the impact of socioeconomic status on the health of adults and children. The data showed better health status among Americans with higher incomes and more education.
For instance, poorer women were less likely to breastfeed their babies, according to the report. Children living below the poverty line watched more television, were less likely to have visited a dentist during the past year and were more likely to receive a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
“Between 1996-2006, the gap in life expectancy at age 25 between those with less than a high school education and those with a bachelor's degree or higher increased by 1.9 years for men and 2.8 years for women,” the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics said in a news release. “On average in 2006, 25-year-old men without a high school diploma had a life expectancy 9.3 years less than those with a bachelor's degree or higher. Women without a high school diploma had a life expectancy 8.6 years less than those with a bachelor's degree or higher.”