In Sickness and In Wealth

To be completely honest I did not do too well on the Health Equity Quiz.  The statistic about a 15 years life expectancy difference between counties in the United States was surprising to me.  This statistic shows how different areas of the United States differ in more ways than I thought.  I also thought that the statistic that the top 1% of American families owns more wealth than the bottom 90% was crazy!! I have heard this statistic before, but every time I hear it I am still in awe.  This is similar to another statistic I have heard that seems to be almost unbelievable:

As the title suggests, the case study “In Sickness and in Wealth,” discusses the relationship between wealth and health.  The video explains how wealth has a lot to do with health, and how good genetics do not necessarily lead to a healthy life. According to the video, education, social status and income all play a role in how healthy one is.  As socio-economic level increases so does life expectancy.  The example that really made this clear to me was the example of identical twins.  Two people with the same genetics can have different life expectancies and health issues as a result of their life choices, income and education.

There are definitely non-genetic factors that explain observed health disparities.  Yes, genetics play a role in one’s health, but there are also a variety of other factors.  The more wealthy have more money to spend on visits to the doctor and dentist, medications, surgeries and more.  People with less money are more likely to eat unhealthy because they cannot afford the more expensive healthy options, and they do not have as much access to health care.  Personally, I believe that unhealthy habits (more than genetics) during one’s life greatly contribute to their health and life expectancy.  Drinking, smoking, lack of exercise, and drugs use are a few things I believe to contribute to health issues.

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  1. Jesse Miller says:

    The difference in health care between the wealthy and poor of the United States is substantial, which leads to a large change in life expectancy between different socioeconomic groups. The best way to solve this problem would be to make uniform health care like they have in Canada and in other countries. If health care was provided by the government, then everyone would get the same care, the poor would gain a larger life expectancy and be able to fight off even simpler diseases that could cause death if not treated. My solution would be economical because the main reason that different groups would get better or worse health care is because of the difference in the amount of money that they are able to spend on health care. The government should be the ones to be held responsible in fixing these problems because that is the only way that they are going to be able to fix it. You cannot just evenly distribute wealth throughout the country, so the next best thing to do would be to take it out of their hands and tell them what kind of care that they would be able to have so that its fair for everyone and no one would get left behind.

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