A study published on Monday in the open access journal BMJ Public Health revealed that the United Kingdom’s (UK) inflation-fueled cost-of-living issue is destined to “cut lives short” and “significantly widen the wealth-health gap.”
The study’s modeling indicated that the proportion of persons “dying before their time” (before the age of 75) would increase by roughly 6.5 percent as a result of the prolonged period of high pricing.
It is predicted that the most destitute households will have four times the number of excess deaths as the wealthiest households, because the poorest will have to spend a bigger proportion of their income on energy, the cost of which has risen.
The researchers looked assessed the influence of inflation on death rates in Scotland in 2022-3, with and without mitigating measures like government assistance to help reduce household bills.
The data gathered was then used to simulate several potential future consequences on life expectancy and disparities for the UK as a whole if certain mitigating policies were enacted.
Without any mitigation, the model estimated that inflation may raise fatalities by 5% in the least disadvantaged areas and by 23% in the most deprived, dropping to 2% and 8% with mitigation, for an overall rate of roughly 6.5 percent.
In each situation, overall life expectancy would be reduced.
“Our analysis contributes to evidence that the economy matters for population health,” said the researchers.
“The mortality impacts of inflation and real-terms income reduction are likely to be large and negative, with marked inequalities in how these are experienced.
“Implemented public policy responses are not sufficient to protect health and prevent widening inequalities,” they added.