Thursday, 27 November 2008

The Duh Report: Who's Sicker?

Today, Dammit Janet! launches the first in an intermittent series we're calling 'The Duh Reports'.

Via the CBC, news of a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information:

Poorest Canadians more likely to enter hospital: report

Poorer Canadians are more likely to enter hospital for health problems such as child asthma, mental illness and diabetes, including potentially preventable conditions, according to a report released Monday.

. . .

The gaps are important partly because it is often costlier to the public-health system to treat people in hospital than in the community.

. . .

For example, after factoring out age in all cases:

* Children from low socio-economic groups had 56 per cent higher hospitalization rates for asthma than children from high socio-economic groups (233 per 100,000 people in the low group compared with 149 per 100,000 in the high group).
* People from lower-income groups were 2.4 times more likely to be hospitalized for diabetes than those in wealthiest group (102 per 100,000 in the low socio-economic group compared with 43 per 100,000 in the high socio-economic group).
* Among people with mental illness, hospitalization rates were 2.3 times higher for those in the low-socioeconomic group compared with the high group (596 per 100,000 people compared with 256 per 100,000).

. . .

Neudorf was joined by colleagues from other Canadian cities on Monday at the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada's national conference in Ottawa. The alliance's members called on governments to recognize the problems and search for solutions that not only improve medical care but also combat poverty and reduce social and economic inequality.

Programs such as low-cost daycare and subsidized social housing help lift people into the labour force and out of poverty, with a ripple effect of improving health, said Dr. Richard Lessard, director of public health for the city of Montreal.
Gee, just because some people are spending way too much dough on housing, not eating well, forgoing prescriptions, dental care, and fitness-club memberships, working -- often at shitty, unsafe jobs -- all hours gord gives them, and living in crappy, dangerous neighbourhoods, they are hospitalized more often than better-off folk?

Who woulda thunk?

4 comments:

osolomama said...

I am so fascinated by that asthma stat, and I've heard it before. Typically, it's also attached to single motherhood. I would love to know the trail from poverty to asthma. I get all the rest of it.

Here's my crazy theory of the day. More drywall dust everywhere. We all feel the "need" to renovate but many of us are too poor to hire a contractor, have the work done in 6 weeks, and move to a hotel. So we do it ourselves, slowly, which causes our kids to be exposed to more dust and contaminants. Noticed one day that the asthma spike happened in the same timeframe as the house porn and reno obsession spike. ??????

fern hill said...

There was this recent study reporting that one-third of asthma 'patients' are misdiagnosed. Maybe a bunch of those are poor people with hurried doctors, or at walk-in clinics, or ????

deBeauxOs said...

It could also be linked to living in urban areas that are de-forested and lacking in trees and other forms of plant life that absorb pollutants.

osolomama said...

Well, walk-in was our method when we lived in Scarborough. DD actually got her first puffer there. Then BAM--the mother of all asthma attacks, so bad even the local hospital couldn't handle it. For the life of me, I've been trying to figure out how we ended up with this and there are a whole host of factors, including that DD is adopted. But how the f--k it's related to me being a single mom is beyond me.

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