Health Equity and the Wealth-Health Gradient

Health Equity and the Wealth-Health Gradient

The lives of Corey Anderson, Mary Turner, Tondra Young and Jim Taylor are perfect examples of ideas based on like wealth-health gradient and the importance of control and power is only based on income itself. It also depends on income inequality. Blazquez & Cottini & Herrate (2013) explain how there is a correlation of three factors (p.2). The three aspects of health include gender, age, educational or occupational level affects some factors pertaining to health; however, it was discovered that income also affects health.

In the case of Louisville, Kentucky, the government came up with a data map addressing social determinants and health. The map clearly explains how according to each area and county, there seems to be major differences in age expectancy. Of course, this has much to do with social economic factors. The years that were studied ranged between 2006-2008. According to Louisville, KY’s government website researchers, Smith, & Pennington, & Crabtree & Illback (2011), believe that the results of many minorities are not based on personal choices that they may have made, rather it is based on the socio-political structure of Louisville. It was demonstrated that the historical concept of slavery and other measure really determined racial and economic disparity amongst its residents (p.14).

Health conditions that are known as chronic disease have negatively impacted Louisville. For example, diabetes and cancer have increased. This also increased the fatalities of residents based on these diseases alone (p.22). The map generated from Louisville’s government website, clearly demonstrates the areas were the lower socioeconomic residents lived have felt the impact of these chronic health conditions. The Louisville metro area had a significantly higher rate of cancer than the rest of Kentucky (p. 22).

Poverty and health proved to be evident on the basis of developing diseases. One primary issue addressed by the government is the fact that lower socioeconomic individuals faced issues pertaining to psychosocial factors. This led to coronary heart disease, frustration and depression (p.24). These issues range from the years of 2006-2011.

Two issues addressed from the Whitehall study that were very thought-provoking are studying and measuring social support and the issue of mortality. These issues were regularly mentioned in the article. According to Stringhini & Berkman & Dugravot & Ferrie & Marmot & Kivimaki & Singh-Manoux (2012) it is explained in-depth how social support and mortality are some of the problems as to fatalities and health disparities. One determinant of poor health had much to do with not only the socioeconomic (SES) issues but the problems associated with lack of social support. It was also studied that interpersonal relationships and other factors showed how emotional and social health supports overall health. Also, mortality increased based on those with lower economic status. It was reported in the study that those with higher socioeconomic status had better relationships, tend to be happier and this positively affected their health.

Health is not only a biological factor. Health correlates with social, spiritual and economic factors. Money thrives in a well-shaped society; therefore, to maintain one’s health and enjoy the fruits of one’s labor, they would need to be on the average end of making a decent income. Most people’s health are not affected by money alone, but their social life. Also, spiritual aspects have much to do with how one copes through life and their value system. These are all aspects of health that need to be clearly addressed and studied further.

By Melvatean Rocha

Sources: (all print)
Blasquez, M. & Cottini, E. & Herrarte, A (2013). The socioeconomic gradient in health: how important. Journal of Economic Inequality, 1-26.
Smith, P.& Pennington, M. & Crabtree, L. & Illback, R. (2011). Louisville metro health equity report: The social determinants of health in Louisville metro neighborhoods. Louisville: Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness:The Center for Health Equity.
Stringhini, S. Berkman, L. & Dugravot, A. & Ferrie, E.J. & Marmot, M. & Kivimaki, M. & Singh-Manoux, A. &.M. (2012). Socioeconomic Status, Structural and Functional Measures of Social Support: The British Whitehall II Cohort Study, 1985–2009. American Journal of Epidemiology, 1275-1283

Image courtesy of 401(k) 2012Health Equity

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