(NewsNation) — The fourth leading cause of the death isn’t an illness, violence or even an accident; its poverty, according to new research.
An analysis from the University of California at Riverside examined income data and death data to estimate the number of deaths caused by poverty in 2019. According to their research, 183,000 deaths were from poverty that year.
That puts poverty ahead of firearms, drugs, suicide, homicide, obesity and diabetes when it comes to lethality.
“Poverty kills as much as dementia, accidents, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes,” said lead author David Brady in a press release. “Poverty silently killed ten times as many people as all the homicides in 2019. And yet, homicide firearms and suicide get vastly more attention.”
Researchers found that before the age of 40, those who live in poverty have roughly the same survival rates as their wealthier peers. After 40, however, those with lower incomes died at significantly higher rates.
Researchers are calling on lawmakers to pay more attention to poverty, noting that government policies could play a big role in decreasing poverty and, with it, decreasing death rates.
“If we had less poverty, there’d be a lot better health and well-being, people could work more, and they could be more productive,” Brady said. “All of those are benefits of investing in people through social policies.”