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Middle-aged people in the United States are in worse health than those living in England, and the disparities are larger for low income individuals, according to a new study.

There is also a bigger gap in health outcomes between rich and poor in the US than in England, researchers from the University of Michigan and University College London found, according to a statement published Monday.

Rates of diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and mental health conditions among middle-aged high income individuals in the US are higher than among those in their 50s in England.

This is in spite of the fact that these individuals earn almost twice as much after tax as top income earners in England, with the top 10% in the US taking home $144,000 per year compared to $71,000 for the English.

It’s at the bottom of the income scale, however, that the biggest differences are noted, with English people in the lowest 20% income bracket in better health than the poorest US residents of the same age. This gap, moreover, could point to why Covid-19 has had a more devastating impact on low income Americans.

“It’s most shocking, and most evident, among low income adults,” said Dr. Kenneth Langa, a professor of internal medicine, gerontology and health management and policy at the University of Michigan Medical School.

High blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, heart problems, stroke, chronic lung disease and mental health conditions were more prevalent among low income Americans than their English counterparts.

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