In Sickness and in Wealth

When taking the health equity quiz, I
answered seven out of ten questions correctly. I did know some of the
information from previous classes, from my own research, and
experiences that did make it easy for me to identify the correct
answers. There were some very shocking statistics that I learned from
the quiz. The first being as a country we rank in 29th
place for life expectancy but we spend two and a half times more on
health care than most countries.  This to me shows that our country
does not properly allocate money to where it should go and find the
real underlying problem as to why our life expectancy is so low.

In the clip, “In sickness and in
Wealth” researchers analyzed the various economic classes of
individuals and the corresponding health issues. It was found that as
your wealth increases, so does your health. When a person has more
control over their life, not in the sense of your mother controls
what you do, more on the lines of financial control and power, that
person’s health with benefit. Those people who have low paying jobs,
live paycheck to paycheck, do not own their own homes, and more work
place stress have higher levels of cortisol in their system and can
not lower their blood pressure even when sleeping. This causes
hypertension and heart attacks to be more prevalent in those people.
It was also shown through a study where healthy individuals were
exposed to a cold virus and they recorded how many times they were
actually sick. People who had low financial stress did not get sick
as much as those in high stress financial situations.  They also
showed how in other countries no matter what the financial situation,
ones health is not compromised. More of an explanation of this was
shown in the unnatural causes clip “More that a Paycheck”.

 

I believe that politics plays a large
role in the health of our various communities. It is politicians who
decide how the money is to be spent, and how much of it goes to the
various facets of our communities.  In countries like Sweden, the
taxes are much higher than in the United States but the tax dollars
go farther. They help to transition recently unemployed workers into
a new job/career field by giving them 80% of their previous pay as
long as they are actively looking for a job or in school to become
qualified for a new career. If our politicians found better ways to
allocate the money provided to tackle the underline reasons for such
poor health and even implement better work environment practices,
then we can move toward a healthier community.

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