In a provocative new study by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers, low-income people who were living in higher-income neighborhoods died at substantially higher rates than the poor who were living among the poor.Very interesting. I had thought that it would be better to try and get rid of concentrated pockets of poverty, to spread the poor out so no area had too high of a concentration. But with data like this, I will have to revisit that idea.
Mining data from a heart disease study that began in 1979, the researchers discovered that low-income women living in higher-income neighborhoods had a 70 percent higher risk of death during the study period than their wealthier neighbors. The risk profile was similar among men.
Researchers can only speculate why.
One theory is primarily economic. "They may have a home right next to a health clinic, a pharmacy or a private gym, but proximity does not mean access,'' said Winkleby. Instead of enjoying a movie or a game of racket ball after work, the poor person living in the wealthy neighborhood might be working her second shift just to keep up with the rent.
Another theory reaches for a sociological explanation -- that people who feel isolated or out-of-place tend to have poorer health than those who feel part of a community, no matter what their economic status. Loneliness can be a killer.
Of course, my belief might still be valid about extreme poverty like inner cities.
Winkleby cautioned that her study did not explore health disparities among people or neighborhoods representing extreme poverty or wealth. Instead, the study looked at people with median incomes as low as $18,300 to as high as $46,900.via SF Gate