The impact of inflation-fuelled cost-of-living crisis in the UK is set to cut lives short and significantly widen the wealth-health gap, according to a study published on Monday by open access journal BMJ Public Health.
The modelling conducted for the study forecasted that the proportion of people dying before their time will increase by nearly 6.5 percent due to the sustained period of high prices.
The wealthiest households will experience four times the number of extra deaths than the wealthiest households, with the poorest having to spend a greater portion of their income on energy, which has skyrocketed.
The researchers studied the impact of inflation on death rates in Scotland in 2022-23, without mitigating measures such as government support to help cut household bills.
The data collected were then used to model various future outcomes on life expectancy and inequalities for the UK as a whole if different mitigating policies were implemented.
Without any mitigation, the model found that inflation could increase deaths by five percent in the least deprived areas and 23 percent in the most disadvantaged areas, down to two percent and eight percent with mitigation, with an overall rate of around 6.5 percent.
In each case, overall life expectancy would also fall, the CDC said.
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.