Week 6 Activity Post

Socioeconomic status plays such a big role in a person’s health. Being in a lower income bracket comes with a lot of stress on how you are going to pay the bills or even feed your family. This stress causes one’s cortisol levels to rise which can cause a plethora of health issues including but not limited to: hypertension, gastrointestinal issues, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. Being in a lower income household means there is less access to higher education. This in turn means one is less likely to be hired for a job that pays well and provides health insurance. People are less likely to go to the doctor when one: they cannot afford it, and two: going would mean taking time off ending in lost wages. Many times, people will work even when they are sick, which unfortunately only makes the sickness worse. This is a double edge sword because one is sick from the stress of their socioeconomic status and yet they are unable to take the steps to get better. Another factor that plays into poor health in correlation to low socioeconomic status is living conditions. Lower income families are less likely to have access to clean drinking water, suitable sanitation conditions, or health care that is a reasonable distance. The diet of lower income home is usually less nutritious as well because fresh fruits, veggies and nutrient dense foods are more expensive than processed foods. One health concern Egypt faces is hypertension. Overall, the estimated prevalence of hypertension in Egypt was 26.3%. Hypertension prevalence increased progressively with age, from 7.8% in 25- to 34-year-olds to 56.6% in those 75 years or older. Hypertension was slightly more common in women than in men (26.9% versus 25.7%, respectively). Overall, 37.5% of hypertensive individuals were aware that they had high blood pressure (Ibrahim). Women are more likely to be of lower socioeconomic status than men. Especially, in a developing country like Egypt where women are not viewed as equals to their men counterparts. As I have touched on in my previous post, there is an extremely high rate of sexual harassment and violence against women in Egypt. This undoubtedly is correlated to their higher prevalence of hypertension. The role of socioeconomic factors in the aetiology of asthma is not simple. The hygiene hypothesis suggests that higher standards of hygiene and cleanliness have reduced the chance for cross infection in childhood and increased the risk of atopic sensitization (Georgy). A study on ashma prevalence in children in state school verses private schools in Egypt had these findings: children from state schools had a higher prevalence of all symptoms than those in fee-paying schools. State school children had a higher past year wheezing prevalence than children in fee-paying schools (18.8% and 9.1% respectively) and more exercise induced wheeze (35.6% and 18.6% respectively). Nocturnal cough had a high prevalence in both groups but was also higher in state school children (54.2% vs 30.9%) (Georgy). “Poorer” children may have higher exposure to many risk factors facilitating severe asthma and wheezing. Such risk factors may include airborne viruses, smoke, indoor dampness, cockroaches and poor access to healthcare (Georgy).

Ibrahim, M. (2018, April 1). Hypertension Prevalence, Awareness, Treatment and Control in Egypt. Retrieved from https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161/hyp.26.6.886
Georgy, V. (2006, May 31). Prevalence and socioeconomic associations of asthma and allergic rhinitis in Cairo, Egypt. Retrieved from http://erj.ersjournals.com/content/early/2006/05/31/09031936.06.00089005.short

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