In Sickness and in Wealth

I did okay on the Health Equity Quiz.  I got seven questions out of ten correct.  I found it surprising that the United States went from top five in life expectancy to 29th in 50 years.  You would think that life expectancy would continue to get better not worse.  I also thought it was interesting that Latino immigrants though poorer, have better health than the average American, but then just being here for five years causes their health to decline.

The” In Sickness and in Wealth” episode discussed the relationship between health and wealth.  It showed a little bit of the lives of a CEO, an unemployed mother, a janitor, and a lab supervisor in Louisville Kentucky trying to demonstrate how class affects peoples’ health.  They said there is a health-wealth gradient that showed there is a 3-5 year life expectancy difference between the rich and middle classes, and a ten year difference between the rich and people at or below the poverty line.  This pattern is similar for the occurrence of different diseases as well.  They discussed the factors associated with poor health like education, diet, environmental hazards, unsafe living conditions, and lack of control over work and schedule.  According to the video all of these things tied back to wealth and are all “inextricably intertwined”.

Politics, economics, environment, culture, biology and individual choice are all very connected when it comes to illness.  Politics and government can lead to the development, spread, and or treatment of illness. According to the video, the gap in wealth leads to issues with health and they, “arise as a result of policies or the absence of policies that create these enormous inequalities and resources.” And policies in other countries have helped bridge the wealth gap.  For example, they mentioned Ireland having free college education and how education is one of the factors affecting health.  Individual choices can lead to illnesses like smoking, or they can help prevent illness like good diet and exercise.  Hazardous environments can easily cause and spread illness, like poor water quality.  And as we learned last week culture can determine the types of treatment someone will choose.

arise as a result of policies or
the absence of policies that create these enormous inequalities and resources

2 thoughts on “In Sickness and in Wealth

  1. I think that a possible solution to this health problem of the rich being much more healthy and even living longer is education. I think that is the poor were more educated and had access to the same education as the rich they could be just as healthy. I think it is a economical solution because when it comes down to it it is about money. I think we all wish that everyone had equal opportunity to the same education and better school systems but with money so tight it is hard for that to happen. So maybe if the economy would put more money into school of poorer areas or access to knowledge to diet and foods that could and should be eaten opposed to others to avoid these problems.
    To alleviate this problem I think it has to do with the government, locals and doctors. I think the government needs to step in and do more to help these people. While the locals could work on seeing those less fortunate by lending a hand and doing what they can. Also they can educate their community on how important school is, diet, sexual health and more to make the people who are unaware of illnesses treatments and spreading. I think that more doctors could donate their time and help out of their kindness of their hearts not just for money.
    I think that the pros are a better educated community will lead to more awareness. With education it will give some people a light at the end of a tunnel to a better life and job. Education on the right foods will make people aware of things that they should eat and things they should proportion better to give themselves overall better health and prevent diseases. Cons can be that this is too much time and money and is something that everyone wants but it is harder said then done. Better education is something that is currently being fought for it is just a long process. Also education is more geared toward the children or young adults to where it might be a solution that is not helping the older people of the poor.

  2. A possible solution to this problem would be a political one. The solution would involve the government stepping in. Lower income families have less access to health care and other programs. Just because someone has a lower income doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have options to health care and other government-funded programs. When someone doesn’t have access to health care then disease tends to spread more frequently since they don’t have access to treatments. This usually means they would have a shorter life span. When someone lives in a lower income community, they tend to have less of an education compared to their rich counterparts. A higher education usually means a healthier and longer life. I think the government needs to step in to make sure all kids finish school and emphasize the importance of going to college. That way they will be able to break the vicious cycle of also living in a low-income community. The pros of situation would be that people would be healthy and that people would have a higher education. Having a higher education would increase the quality of life for people. The cons of the situation would be that the government would have to fund the programs. That usually means coming out of the tax dollars of the middle class Americans.

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