China's new rich not healthy: survey

Updated: 2007-09-03 19:42

The high-living, high-pressure lifestyles of China's wealthy are catching up with their health, according to a  recent survey that shows many are paying a high cost for their affluence.

The survey of medical checks of 183 middle-aged company owners showed they were suffering from disproportionate diets and a lack of exercise.

The checks of 123 men and 60 women from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou showed all had at least one health problem. Each of the entrepreneurs surveyed owns assets worth more than 10 million yuan (US$1.31 million).

The survey, conducted by Ciming Health Physical Examination Company, showed 41.5 percent suffered from hyperlipidemia, or excess fats in the bloodstream, 21.8 percent from high blood pressure and 12.5 percent from hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar.

The figure for hyperlipidemia was 20 percentage points above the national average, while those for hyperglycemia and high blood pressure were each ten percent above the national average.

The electrocardiogram tests of 33.8 percent of the entrepreneurs were found to record abnormalities, while 62.8 percent suffered cervical spondylosis, or neck pain due to wear and tear of vertebrae, and 32.2 percent had too much fat in their livers.

Cimin chief executive Dr Han Xiaohong said, "the new rich is not as heathly as an average person."

"High pressure from their work and irregular lifestyles are the main causes," she said.

More than 30 percent of the interviewed said they seldom exercise and 67 percent said they are sacrificing health for money.

After the health checks, 83 percent said that they would rather regain their health than make more money.

Han said that more people were sacrificing their health for the success of their career or making more money at the expense of their health.

The affluent, to some degree, were regarded as successful, but the survey showed they are not so successful in terms of health, Han said.

"The survey was aimed at reminding the public that health is the biggest asset and could not be bought with money," Han said.

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