"For poor people, living in an affluent area can be a health hazard.
That is the provocative conclusion of a study of the death records of
more than 8000 people living in four US cities.
The ill effects of being poor or living in economically disadvantaged
areas have been demonstrated before, but it is unusual to consider
both factors in the same study. When Marilyn Winkleby and colleagues
at Stanford University in California did so, they were surprised to
find that death rates in four Californian cities were highest for
poor people living in the richest neighbourhoods (American Journal of
Public Health, DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.060970).
They offer two possible explanations: poor people living in rich
areas may have to pay more for housing and other services, magnifying
the effect of poverty; alternatively, their health may suffer from
stress caused by continually being reminded that they are at the
bottom of the economic pile. “I don’t think the two are mutually
exclusive,” says team member Catherine Cubbin, now at the University
of California, San Francisco.
Richard Wilkinson, who studies health inequalities at the University
of Nottingham, UK, suspects that stress is largely to blame. With
Kate Pickett of the University of York he has reviewed more than 150
studies and concluded that health is generally poorer in societies
where differences in income are larger (Social Science & Medicine,
vol 62, p 1768). “The basic picture seems to be that low social
status is stigmatising,” Wilkinson says."
William T Goodall
Mail : wtg@...
Web : http://www.wtgab.demon.co.uk
Blog : http://radio.weblogs.com/0111221/
I think a case can be made that faith is one of the world's great
evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate. -