Illustration : Jim Cooke ( Photos: Shutterstock )  We all know that the US health care system is unequal and inhumane but apparently your income can determine your life span even in places with pretty good health care. A new report from the UK shows that lower-income people living in less affluent areas have reportedly had almost 10 years shorter lives despite supposedly having equal access to health care.
The report " Health Equity in England " is based on epidemiological surveys in Great Britain and shows that life expectancy is shortest in the economically most disadvantaged 10 percent of the country, while in districts with the richest 10 Percent life expectancy is longest. In addition, this health gap has worsened over the past decade and overall expected life expectancy growth has stalled – for the first time in 100 years in the UK.
As Sir Michael Marmot, professor of epidemiology at University College London, the lead author of the Gizmodo report said, "There is more bad news than good news."
In countries like the United States, where individuals spend large sums on medical services Health inequalities and the need to pay in the life span between the richest and poorest may not come as a surprise. However, the fact that there is a gap between rich and poor in Britain shows how money affects almost everything about a person's experience on this planet.
"Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On" is an assessment – some might say an indictment – of the progress society has made since the original report on the health inequality problem in the UK in 2010, according to the Update, there has been little improvement in addressing the health gap between rich and poor.
Indeed, inequality in life expectancy has increased over the past 10 years. For example, between 2010 and 2012, the richest men could expect to live 9.1 years longer than the men in the poorest group. In women, the difference between rich and poor was 6.8 years. Fast forward to 2016-2018, and the difference in life expectancy at birth between the richest and poorest increased to 9.5 years for men and 7.7 years for women.
In other words, men who live in the most disadvantaged parts of England could expect to be 73.9 years old, while those who live in the wealthiest parts of London could expect to live 83.4 years of age. While life expectancy for women continues to be longer than for men, the mortality gap also exists here. The poorest women are expected to live 78.6 years, while the financially wealthier women may live 86.3 years.
When the economic differences become more extreme, the health extremes also become more extreme, said Marmot at a seminar in Paris held by the National Press Foundation before the report was published: “The poorest 10 percent of women are 75 years old dead, while the richest 10 percent live until 87. ”
It's not just about getting better doctors. It is the overall socio-economic environment that not only has better access to health care, but also better education (which leads to better health choices), better air quality (less-favored areas tend to suffer from more pollution ) and one overall better quality of life. The report mentions that while it is difficult to pinpoint a single economic cause, poverty is harmful to health in many ways, from the inability to properly heat your home to the inability to afford a nutritious diet , down to calming and calm relaxation.
While the marmot report focuses on Britain, many of its findings can be applied elsewhere. The authors find it rather menacing that the slowdown in life expectancy improvement is more pronounced in the UK than in any other high-income country except the United States. In addition, the report mentions that mortality rates among men and women ages 45 to 49 are increasing, "possibly related to so-called" desperate deaths "(suicide, drug and alcohol abuse) seen in the United States . "
And what about the so-called costs of obtaining potentially life-saving vaccines against infectious diseases such as the new corona virus?
In most countries (except the United States), the cost of a future COVID-19 vaccine will not be a factor for those who want to receive it. Since it would fall under the existing coverage, production volumes will be more important to meet demand. However, the marmot report suggests that people who are already in economically disadvantaged positions could be further harmed if they become ill thanks to COVID-19. For these people, lack of work due to illness or quarantine would directly reduce their income and thus have further adverse effects on life and livelihood.
Aside from the obvious notion that if you want better health outcomes, you have to make more money. What can be done?
The original Marmot report from 2010 included several recommendations, many of which focused on tackling the roots of poverty early on: better wages, eliminating frontier jobs, and supporting early childhood learning to reduce the impact of poverty. While the UK government has cut budgets for such efforts in the past decade, there have been some local hopes, according to the report. Unfortunately, they were the exception rather than the rule.
JQ ( @jqontech ) writes about science and technology and is editor in chief of OntheRoadtoAutonomy.com . 19659022]