Across the United States, income inequality is one of the top influencers of health status

July 15, 2016

 

Across the United States, income inequality is one of the top influencers of health status. In order to address health disparities, our definition of population health should focus on entire populations, and what factors that are causing the population to experience gaps in access to care.

 

Bob Evan’s research from the 1990’s concluded that income inequality plays a strong role, as well as socioeconomic status, in determining both individual health and population health. These findings were also present even after controlling for risky behaviors such as consuming alcohol.

 

David Nash, dean of Thomas Jefferson University and others believe many steps should be taken in order to better understand and improve population health. Among these steps include: identifying high-risk populations and providing aggressive care, monitoring populations, data utilization, exploration of other treatment methods, providing care to individuals directly in their communities in which they live, emphasizing the importance of wellness and prevention, and learning to partner with community members and other medical professionals.

 

The article also discusses the views of many political members including the current runners for the presidential election regarding population health. Although views vary among these members, addressing income inequality is a major step to understanding and improving health equity in the U.S.

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