The study aimed to pinpoint when adults were beginning to show signs of age-related disabilities such as struggling to get out of bed, CNN reported. Yet research has previously shown that such a divide has less to do with age and more to do with health care (or lack thereof).
"Lack of health insurance among those aged below 65 years does not only affect prevention and early diagnosis, but also access to appropriate medical intervention when serious illness strikes and the ability to pay for other needs, such as adequate housing and food", the authors state in the paper.
To determine this, study participants from both countries were divided into three equal groups based on total household wealth, and comparisons were made between the richest and least wealthy groups.
Interestingly, in England, health care is public and universal through the beloved National Health Service (NHS).
"Our study makes a unique contribution to understanding the inequality in health expectations between England and the United States, where health systems are very different". "These contextual factors can in turn provide better psychosocial health and reduced stress, especially among socioeconomically disadvantaged groups".
The team led by University College London (UCL) concluded: "Life inequalities exist in both countries and are of a similar magnitude".
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
It was found that the biggest socioeconomic advantage in terms of disability-free life expectancy was wealth.
At age 50, the wealthiest men in England and the USA lived around an extra 31 years in good health compared with around 22-23 years for those in the poorest group.
They found that there was no significant difference in life expectancy between the United Kingdom and the United States, but that wealth played a major role in how many years would be free from disabilities.
Analysis didn't show any significant difference between the health of those in the United States and in England. "Our findings have implications for policymakers interested in reducing health expectancy inequalities".
Women from the wealthiest groups from the USA and England lived around an additional 33 "healthy" years, compared with 24.6 and 24 years from the poorest wealth groups in England the U.S. respectively.