Socio-economic issues create barriers in health care . Economic factors and social inequity are some of the most important causes of ill health since poverty may result in poor nutrition overcrowded living conditions , inadequate clothing , low levels of education , housing or work sited in areas with greater environmental dangers as well as exposure to physical and psychological violence , psychological stress and drug and alcohol abuse are just some of the internal or external barriers that prevent effective health care to a large portion of society . The unequal distribution of wealth and resources and
of access to health care facilities can also lead to this situation . An early study of these health disparities in the UK , the Black Report of 1982 showed how health could clearly be correlated with income , and people in the poorer social class had more illness and a much higher mortality than their fellow citizens in the more affluent classes . In recent years this situation in Britain has worsened , with a widening difference in life expectancy between the social classes . In England and Wales in 1972-76 , the life expectancy for those in professional occupations was 5 .5 years longer for men , and 5 .3 years longer for women , compared with those in unskilled manual occupations , by 1992-96 , however , this class gap in life-expectancy had widened to 9 .5 years for men and 6 .4 for women
In many western societies these disparities are particularly evident in ethnic or cultural minority groups , whether they are immigrants or native born . In the USA , several studies indicate that members of minority groups suffer disproportionately from conditions such as heart disease , diabetes , asthma , cancer , and other diseases . The reasons for these health disparities are complex and they include the many effects of poverty , but also the biases and lack of flexibility of the health care system itself . Also ethnic minorities in the USA have much lower rates of coverage by health insurance . For example , while Latinos are only 13 percent of the population , they represent 25 percent of those without any health insurance . People with low incomes may not only be able to afford good health care , they may also be unable to take time off work to make use of whatever health care is available . A further factor in damaging the health of minority groups may be discrimination racism r persecution by the host population , as well as a general unwillingness to take not of their health beliefs , practices and expectations (Betancourt , Green , Carillo Ananeh-Firempong , 2003
In the developing world too , whatever the local culture , poor health is usually associated with a low income and poverty , since this influences the sort of food , water , clothing , sanitation , housing and medical care that people are able to afford . Health disparities and the physical environment in which poor communities live can directly impact on their health , resulting in an inability to afford clean water supply or adequate sewerage disposal . In 2005 , the United Nations Development Program estimated that 1 .2 billion people still lacked...
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