The struggles of becoming a better person by the poor actually causes more damage to their body system than imagined. The research carried out in the US explained the rich seems to live longer than the poor based on the body’s immune system’s level of stability.
As the lower class struggle to climb the social status ladder, the research points that it affects the way genes turn on and off within immune cells, and this can eventually cause negative effect. To fight infection in the body system, the defense, particularly within a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells is not in order because of inflammation. Again, when the lower class gains improvement in social status or social support, it restores the stability of the immune cells.
Jenny Tung, an assistant professor of evolutionary anthropology and biology at Duke University said: “Social status is one of the strongest predictors of human disease risk and mortality, and it also influences Darwinian fitness in social mammals more generally. Many human societies exhibit social gradients in health.
“Socioeconomic status has been called the “fundamental cause” of health inequalities, and, in the United States, differences between the highest versus lowest socioeconomic stratum may affect adult life span by more than a decade.
‘These patterns arise, in part, from differences in resource access and health risk behaviours. However, studies in hierarchically organised animal species suggest that they may also be more deeply embedded in our evolutionary history.”
She further stated that: “To understand the biological basis of these effects, we combined genomics with a social status manipulation in female rhesus macaques to investigate how status alters immune function.”
During the study, those whose status improved suffered less stress as they bonded through grooming and their immune cells also became more like high-ranking, in terms of which genes were turned on or off, when they improved their social standing. This could justify why poor and working class people have higher rates of inflammatory disorders such as heart disease and diabetes.