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.