Movin' on up, or downright illin'?

Ransom Riggs

Speaking of The Jeffersons, whose "de-luxe apartment in the sky" was featured in yesterday's sitcom quiz, turns out there's some new -- and not so good -- news regarding the health effects of "movin' on up." Scientists have known for awhile now that poverty is hazardous to your health, but now a new study by epidemiologists has concluded that poor people die sooner when living in higher-income neighborhoods than in poorer ones.

Researchers analyzed 17 years' worth of data on thousands of people from four mid-size northern California cities to determine the death rates among different socioeconomic groups residing in the same neighborhoods. Higher rents or property taxes and limited access to free services may explain the paradoxical outcome for poor people with better-off neighbors. Also, perceiving a discrepancy in social status can cause psychological stress that may affect health, the researchers note.

Sick if you stay, potentially sicker if you move -- what's a Jefferson to do? (No, really -- we're asking!)