In recent years, improvements in life expectancy have stalled in many high-income countries, and even declined for those in the poorest societal groups. This is thought to reflect widening inequalities, which the COVID-19 pandemic has increased still further. For instance, the latest figures show that men in the most deprived areas in England are expected to live nearly 10 years less than those in the least deprived, whilst women in the same areas can expect to live seven years less (Department of Health and Social Care).*
This has generated much interest in whether certain ‘elite’, high-status occupations, such as politics, are associated with better health. However, to date, studies that have compared mortality rates between politicians and the populations they represent have typically focused on one or a few countries. Today, a new study led by researchers at the Nuffield Department of Population Health has published the most comprehensive analysis so far, based on data from 11 high income countries. The results have been published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.