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The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity

The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Based on decades of his own research, a pioneering epidemiologist reveals the surprising factors behind who lives longer and why

You probably didn't realize that when you graduated from college you increased your lifespan, or that your co-worker who has a master's degree is more likely to live a longer and healthier life. Seemingly small social differences in education, job title, income, even the size of your house or apartment have a profound impact on your health.

For years we have focused merely on how advances in technology and genetics can extend our lives and cure disease. But as Sir Michael Marmot argues, we are looking at the issue backwards. Social inequalities are not a footnote to the real causes of ill health in industrialized countries; they are the cause. The psychological experience of inequality, Marmot shows, has a profound effect on our lives. And while this may be alarming, it also suggests a ray of hope. If we can understand these social inequalities, we can also mitigate their effects.

In this groundbreaking book, Marmot, an internationally renowned epidemiologist, marshals evidence from around the world and from nearly thirty years of his research to demonstrate that how much control you have over your life and the opportunities you have for full social participation are crucial for health, well-being, and longevity. Just as Bowling Alone changed the way we think about community in America, The Status Syndrome will change the way we think about our society and how we live our lives.

Sir Michael Marmot is a professor of epidemiology and public health at University College, London, where he is also the director of the International Center for Health and Society. An adviser to the World Health Organization who lectures around the world on inequalities in health, he was awarded the 2004 Balzan Prize for Epidemiology.

You probably didn't realize that when you graduate from college you increase your lifespan, or that a coworker who has a slightly better job is more likely to live a longer and healthier life. But these seemingly small differences in your social statuseducation, job title, income, even the size of your house or apartmenthave a profound impact on your health.

In this groundbreaking book, Michael Marmot, an intemationally renowned epidemiologist, marshals evidence from around the world and from nearly thirty years of his own research to demonstrate the importance of status in our health, well-being, and longevity. For years we have focused on how advances in technology and genetics can extend our lives and cure disease. But, Marmot argues, we are looking at the issue backward. In the past, we have viewed social inequalities as a footnote to the real causes of ill-health; in fact, they are a major cause. He calls this effect the "status syndrome."

The status syndrome is pervasive. It determines the chances that you will succumb to heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, infectious diseases, even suicide and homicide. And the issue, as Marmot shows, is not simply one of income. Nor is it a case of differences in lifestylethe likelihood that you are a smoker, or that you eat a high-cholesterol cheeseburger every day. It is the psychological experience of inequalityhow much control you have over your life and the opportunities you have for full social participationthat has a profound effect on your health.

While the pervasiveness of the status syndrome may be alarming, it also provides hope. If we can understand social inequalities, we can mitigate their effects. For instance, by investing in early child development and the education system, we can give children a better chance of improving their status and thus their health as adults. By creating secure jobs that give employees some control over the way they manage their careers and reward them for their efforts, we can diminish the social inequalities and hhealth risks of the workplace. By providing older people, and communities in general, with support systems that increase social contact, we can improve health as well. While these are not the usual routes to curing disease, Marmot shows that they are critical ones.

At a time when good health has become one of the most pressing issues of civic life, The Status Syndrome points toward a way to close the gaps, and so will alter how we think about health and societyand how we live our lives.

"Michael Marmot's pioneering work has already had a major impact on our understanding of the far-reaching social demands of public health. This wonderfully engaging book explains in an entirely accessible way how social inequality can have such a devastating effect on our health and mortality. It is a profound contribution to an extraordinarily important subject."Amartya Sen, author of Development as Freedom and winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics

"Bold, important, and masterful."Eric Klinenberg, The Washington Post Book World

"Michael Marmot's pioneering work has already had a major impact on our understanding of the far-reaching social demands of public health. This wonderfully engaging book explains in an entirely accessible way how social inequality can have such a devastating effect on our health and mortality. It is a profound contribution to an extraordinarily important subject."Amartya Sen, author of Development as Freedom and winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics

"Michael Marmot is a world-class scientist who writes deeply about matters of life and death with the grace of a world-class essayist. This important new book encapsulates a quarter century of his research that shows how toxic inequality, hierarchy, and social isolation can be. Anyone concerned about the health of our society should read this book."Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone and Better Together

"Despite the widespread belief that molecular biology will soon vanquish disease, there remains the discomforting fact that health can be predicted to an astonishing extent by being poor, feeling poor, and being made to feel poor. Any discussion of this subject inevitably comes to the Rosetta stone of this field, Michael Marmot's Whitehall studies. Now Marmot offers a book that deciphers this phenomenon for the general public. Amid pages of wisdom, he proves himself to be a fun, accessible writer. The Status Syndrome is a wonderful, important book."Robert M. Sapolsky, author of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

"The Status Syndrome, beautifully written by the founder of the field, explores the life-shortening effects of social stress and lack of control. Michael Marmot combines the findings and the insights of many disciplines into a fascinating story of the nexus of social life and individual death."Daniel Kahneman, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Princeton University, and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic

"Anybody who gives it a moment's thought knows that poor people tend to have more health problems than do the rich. But why? In The Status Syndrome, Michael Marmot tells us not only why being poor is lousy for one's health, but what can be done to bring health equity to the world. He has done us a great, great favor by writing this eminently readable, informative, and spectacular book."Laurie Garrett, author of Betrayal of Trust and Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Review:

"With 30 years of research and a catchy name for his theory, epidemiologist Marmot gives a wake-up call to those of us in the wealthy industrialized world who think our social status has no impact on our health: whether you look at wealth, education, upbringing or job, health steadily worsens as one descends the social ladder, even within the upper and middle classes. Beyond a simple explanation of how the deprivation of extreme poverty leads to disease, Marmot shows that life expectancy declines gradually from the upper crust to the impoverished. The odds are that your boss will live longer than you and that Donald Trump will outlive us all. Marmot bases his conclusions on his study of British civil servants, but backs up his theory at every turn with mountains of other research, from experiments on rhesus monkeys to studies of cigarette factory workers in India. For a book based on statistics, the text contains only a few graphs, but Marmot still provides a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of how our health depends on the society around us, and particularly on the sense of autonomy and control one has over one's life. As an adviser to the World Health Organization, Marmot has had the opportunity to make policy recommendations based on his theory. The Status Syndrome may not be a page-turner, but it will make readers look at the rat race in a whole new way. Agent, Rob McQuilkin. (Aug. 9)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

"Bold, important and masterful . . . Marmot's message is not just timely, it's urgent."

-The Washington Post Book World

You probably didn't realize that when you graduate from college you increase your lifespan, or that your co-worker who has a slightly better job is more likely to live a healthier life. In this groundbreaking book, epidemiologist Michael Marmot marshals evidence from nearly thirty years of research to demonstrate that status is not a footnote to the causes of ill health-it is the cause. He calls this effect the status syndrome.

The status syndrome is pervasive. It determines the chances that you will succumb to heart disease, stroke, cancers, infectious diseases, even suicide and homicide. And the issue, as Marmot shows, is not simply one of income or lifestyle. It is the psychological experience of inequality-how much control you have over your life and the opportunities you have for full social participation-that has a profound effect on your health.

The Status Syndrome will utterly change the way we think about health, society, and how we live our lives.

Synopsis:

Based on decades of his own research, a pioneering epidemiologist reveals the surprising factors behind who lives longer and why

You probably didn't realize that when you graduated from college you increased your lifespan, or that your co-worker who has a master's degree is more likely to live a longer and healthier life. Seemingly small social differences in education, job title, income, even the size of your house or apartment have a profound impact on your health.

For years we have focused merely on how advances in technology and genetics can extend our lives and cure disease. But as Sir Michael Marmot argues, we are looking at the issue backwards. Social inequalities are not a footnote to the real causes of ill health in industrialized countries; they are the cause. The psychological experience of inequality, Marmot shows, has a profound effect on our lives. And while this may be alarming, it also suggests a ray of hope. If we can understand these social inequalities, we can also mitigate their effects.

In this groundbreaking book, Marmot, an internationally renowned epidemiologist, marshals evidence from around the world and from nearly thirty years of his research to demonstrate that how much control you have over your life and the opportunities you have for full social participation are crucial for health, well-being, and longevity. Just as Bowling Alone changed the way we think about community in America, The Status Syndrome will change the way we think about our society and how we live our lives.

About the Author

Michael Marmot is a professor of epidemiology and public health at University College, London, where he is also the director of the International Center for Health and Society. He serves as an adviser to the World Health Organization and lectures around the world. He lives in London.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805073706
Subtitle:
How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity
Publisher:
Holt Paperbacks
Author:
Marmot, Michael
Author:
Marmot, M. G.
Location:
New York, N.Y.
Subject:
General
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Healthy Living
Subject:
Longevity
Subject:
Social status
Subject:
Health Care Issues
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
03-131
Publication Date:
20050905
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
10-12 graphs
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
1400x1800 1

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Politics of Health Care
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 336 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805073706 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With 30 years of research and a catchy name for his theory, epidemiologist Marmot gives a wake-up call to those of us in the wealthy industrialized world who think our social status has no impact on our health: whether you look at wealth, education, upbringing or job, health steadily worsens as one descends the social ladder, even within the upper and middle classes. Beyond a simple explanation of how the deprivation of extreme poverty leads to disease, Marmot shows that life expectancy declines gradually from the upper crust to the impoverished. The odds are that your boss will live longer than you and that Donald Trump will outlive us all. Marmot bases his conclusions on his study of British civil servants, but backs up his theory at every turn with mountains of other research, from experiments on rhesus monkeys to studies of cigarette factory workers in India. For a book based on statistics, the text contains only a few graphs, but Marmot still provides a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of how our health depends on the society around us, and particularly on the sense of autonomy and control one has over one's life. As an adviser to the World Health Organization, Marmot has had the opportunity to make policy recommendations based on his theory. The Status Syndrome may not be a page-turner, but it will make readers look at the rat race in a whole new way. Agent, Rob McQuilkin. (Aug. 9)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
"Bold, important and masterful . . . Marmot's message is not just timely, it's urgent."

-The Washington Post Book World

You probably didn't realize that when you graduate from college you increase your lifespan, or that your co-worker who has a slightly better job is more likely to live a healthier life. In this groundbreaking book, epidemiologist Michael Marmot marshals evidence from nearly thirty years of research to demonstrate that status is not a footnote to the causes of ill health-it is the cause. He calls this effect the status syndrome.

The status syndrome is pervasive. It determines the chances that you will succumb to heart disease, stroke, cancers, infectious diseases, even suicide and homicide. And the issue, as Marmot shows, is not simply one of income or lifestyle. It is the psychological experience of inequality-how much control you have over your life and the opportunities you have for full social participation-that has a profound effect on your health.

The Status Syndrome will utterly change the way we think about health, society, and how we live our lives.

"Synopsis" by ,
Based on decades of his own research, a pioneering epidemiologist reveals the surprising factors behind who lives longer and why

You probably didn't realize that when you graduated from college you increased your lifespan, or that your co-worker who has a master's degree is more likely to live a longer and healthier life. Seemingly small social differences in education, job title, income, even the size of your house or apartment have a profound impact on your health.

For years we have focused merely on how advances in technology and genetics can extend our lives and cure disease. But as Sir Michael Marmot argues, we are looking at the issue backwards. Social inequalities are not a footnote to the real causes of ill health in industrialized countries; they are the cause. The psychological experience of inequality, Marmot shows, has a profound effect on our lives. And while this may be alarming, it also suggests a ray of hope. If we can understand these social inequalities, we can also mitigate their effects.

In this groundbreaking book, Marmot, an internationally renowned epidemiologist, marshals evidence from around the world and from nearly thirty years of his research to demonstrate that how much control you have over your life and the opportunities you have for full social participation are crucial for health, well-being, and longevity. Just as Bowling Alone changed the way we think about community in America, The Status Syndrome will change the way we think about our society and how we live our lives.

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