I got about 50% correct on the Health Equity Quiz, which I was not surprised about. I was not familiar with those statistics, but found them to be an enlightening educational experience. I was shocked to learn that the United States was 29th in the world for life expectancy. Naturally, due to the disparities in our public health system, we are bound to have a lower expectancy than countries who provide a more comprehensive health care system to an already healthier population. The statistic that was most shocking to me, however, was the income inequality, which is the largest it has been since the 1920s. The 1920s included the Great Depression, end of World War I, and the beginning of prohibition resulting in massive social upheaval and large scale economic changes.
The Unnatural Causes episode I watched was called “Place Matters” and addresses how important the location of your home is to the quality of your life. Meaning that it is a good predictor of how likely you are to get sick, live to an old age, or suffer from disease. This ties back into the lecture because it further demonstrates that it is not race that dictates quality and length of life, rather it is the environmental conditions. Things like crime and violence, chemicals, social environment, and more contribute to health. Gwai Boonkeut, a man who had a heart attack a young age with no family history of heart disease or problems and is a non-smoker, suffers from living within a neighborhood that lacks that affluence of a more wealthy area. His area lacks easy access to healthy foods and experiences what Unnatural Causes called a poverty tax. They are living within an urbanized area and yet they lack the benefits that a more wealthy area would have.
His case is a good example of non-genetic factors that are a result of the environmental conditions in which they live. Chemicals, lack of healthy foods, an unsafe area, and less income can provide stress and apprehension about getting outside and moving to keep healthy and social. Gwai’s case is a strong proponent of the fact that people are created by the conditions in which they live.