Nature and Extent of Health Inequities- Socio-Economically Disadvantaged People

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Nature and Extent of health inequities- Socio-economically Disadvantaged People The socioeconomic determinants include income, education and employment. People or groups, who are considered as socio-economically disadvantaged are characterised by the following: * Poor levels of education * Low income * Poor housing * Unskilled work * Long periods of unemployment People from a lower socio-economic background have significantly lower levels of health than higher socio-economic groups. Lower socio-economic groups have higher mortality and higher levels of illness. Many studies show that people or groups who are socially and economically disadvantaged have reduced life expectancy, premature mortality, increased disease incidence and prevalence, increased biological and behavioural risk factors for ill health, and lower overall health status. The link between socio-economic status (SES) and health begins at birth and continues through life, but the strength of the relationship varies at different life stages. Studies have revealed that, in Australia: * higher socioeconomic groups have a lower infant mortality rate * higher socioeconomic groups are better educated about their health — that is, lower education is associated with higher levels of blood pressure in both sexes, higher LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol levels in women and a higher body mass index in both sexes * The decline in heart disease death rates is greater in higher socioeconomic groups * Smoking prevalence is twice as high for low SES people than those of high SES * Low SES take part in risky alcohol taking more than high SES. * lower socioeconomic groups make less use of preventative health services such as immunisation, family planning, dental checkups and Pap smears * People living in areas of relatively low socioeconomic status (SES)
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