Health and Wealth – News-Medical.Net

Inequalities Breed Ill-health
Ill-Health Breeds Economic Instability
Inequalities Breed Stress
The Way Out

There is abundant proof that money does buy better healthcare, better health, and a longer life. On the other hand, good health is linked to the ability to create wealth, as well. Thus, there are strong links between several health indicators over the average life span of individuals and their available income.

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Scientists have already summed up the results of multiple studies to show that wealthier people live longer, have less chronic disease, and maintain a higher level of function well into their old age. Reduced death rates, a longer life expectancy, and a lower risk of lifestyle conditions modified by income, such as obesity, smoking, hypertension, and asthma, are all concomitant benefits of having a high disposable income.

This is explainable in terms of the better living conditions available for the wealthy, coupled with better preventive and therapeutic healthcare, which means they do not become as seriously ill or remain so for as long as those who are poorer. Disability or chronic ill health resulting from such conditions may dog a person throughout life.

The effects of poor healthcare due to poverty and social inequalities may extend across generations to affect the unborn and children. For instance, a lack of vaccinations may leave the unborn prone to teratogenic infections such as rubella and measles. Malnutrition during pregnancy may cause low birth weight and developmental defects.

Similarly, maternal deaths may be higher for a lack of access to affordable quality healthcare. Increased spending on healthcare means less money for other expenses, reduced savings, and thus a state of unpreparedness for health and other emergencies. Poor health also reduces productivity, reduces earning capacity, impacts learning, and reduces emotional well-being.

Among high-income countries, American men and women live for an average of 76 and 81 years, respectively. Since they have the highest rates of injury and disease globally, their old age is medically and financially demanding. Interestingly, despite high incomes, Americans have high rates of homicides, vehicle accidents, sexually transmitted diseases, obesity and diabetes, alcohol- and drug-related deaths, lung disease, cardiovascular disease, and disabling autoimmune and joint diseases.

Inequalities Breed Ill-health

Social inequalities form a powerful weapon in keeping the poor in that condition, even while helping the rich get richer. It is noticeable that the disparity between the rich and the poor has become glaringly apparent in the USA. Poor households with negative or no …….