Low-income neighborhoods may not have nearby access to the best hospitals, doctors’ offices, and medical technology. A 2013 study found that 25% of low-income families have poor health compared to 15% of the most affluent families. That’s the same number of years that smoking shortens life expectancy.
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The three aforementioned diseases are widely recognised and receive a higher portion of funding to develop ways to tackle them however there are a string of lesser known diseases which also have a devastating impact upon impoverished populations. Diseases such as dengue fever, cysticercosis, toxocariasis, leishmaniasis and murine typhus are common in tropical areas while cases of Chagas disease are also being increasingly reported among the warmer, poorer southern states of the USA.
Community-based health clinics help reduce health care inequality in low-income areas. Even those in the middle class who have insurance face devastation from health care inequality.
As a result, those with corporate-sponsored plans have better access to health care than those who didn’t. Before the Affordable Care Act, almost 25% of Americans had little std or no health insurance. As a result, over 101,000 of them died each year because they couldn’t afford the high cost of health care. One reason is health care inequality in America is so high is that it’s the only developed country that relies on private health insurance.
- A pattern of healthy eating and regular physical activity is also important for long-term health benefits and prevention of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- We can see that in less than 200 years the UK doubled life expectancy at birth.
- The estimates from the UK – the country for which we have the longest time-series – show that life expectancy before 1800 was very low, but since then it has increased drastically.
- Obesity is also associated with the leading causes of death in the United States and worldwide, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.
- Obesity is serious because it is associated with poorer mental health outcomes and reduced quality of life.
- And the data shows that similarly remarkable improvements also took place in other European countries during the same period.
In 2009, almost half of those who used a hospital said they went because they had no other place to go for health care. In 2016, half of all people on Medicare had incomes less than $26,200. They can receive a subsidy under Obamacare, but often those policies only cover certain hospitals and doctors’ practices. Again, in rural areas, the covered medical services may be insufficient.
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The three diseases mostly commonly linked to poverty—HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis—are the cause of six million deaths globally per year. One study released in late 2012 highlights the interdependent nature of poverty and disease, analysing the negative impact of infectious and parasitic diseases on economic development.
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The relationship between poverty and diseases is emphatically intertwined however we paint with too broad a brush when we generalise that infection rates go down as poverty declines. This trend is not a given and spikes in infection rates do occur when disastrous events take place such as natural disasters or the outbreak of conflict.