Is There a Connection Between Poverty and Poor Health?
In recent years, attention has shifted to the relationship between poverty and poor health. However, the connection between the two is largely undefined and many studies do not examine the link. Nonetheless, a number of factors are correlated with one another.
Poor socioeconomic status is one of the strongest predictors of morbidity and premature mortality. People with below average incomes have a higher rate of long-term illnesses, including cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.
A low income is also associated with inadequate access to health care and food. Moreover, people living in poverty are more likely to experience stress. Stress can have deleterious effects on a person’s health, including higher levels of adrenaline and cortisol.
The lack of adequate education and employment can also increase the risk of poor health. Lack of knowledge about when and how to seek medical treatment is also a problem for those in poor circumstances.
While poor health and poverty are inextricably linked, they have different ways of interacting with each other. Poverty and ill health are both traps that prevent communities from achieving their full potential.
There is a need for new policies and networks to address poverty and ill health. These should include a national food security program, an affordable housing program, and innovative employment policies.
Health is also affected by environmental factors, such as pollution, unhealthy diets, and lack of sanitation. People in poverty have less access to clean water, a good diet, and a safe place to live. They also have to pay more for transportation.