Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[News article] Heart attacks hit poor hardest

Heart attacks hit poor hardest.

From the 8 January 2014 ScienceDaily article

As people get older, their bodies wear down and become less resilient. In old age, it’s common for people to become “clinically frail,” and this “frailty syndrome” is emerging in the field of public health as a powerful predictor of healthcare use and death.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 6.50.02 AM

p. 50 of The 2012 National Healthcare Disparities Report
http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/nhqrdr/nhdr12/2012nhdr.pdf

Now researchers Vicki Myers and Prof. Yariv Gerber of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the School of Public Health at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and colleagues have found that poor people are more than twice as likely as the wealthy to become frail after a heart attack. The findings, published in the International Journal of Cardiology, could help doctors and policymakers improve post-heart-attack care for the poor.

“By defining frailty, which combines many areas of medicine, we can predict which people are at the highest risk after a heart attack,” said Ms. Myers. “And we found a strong connection between frailty and socioeconomic status.”

Read entire article here

Related Resource

National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR)

  • 2012 Web Version | PDF Version [ PDF file – .8.74 MB] | State Snapshots
     

    For the tenth year in a row, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has produced the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and theNational Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR). These reports measure trends in effectiveness of care, patient safety, timeliness of care, patient centeredness, and efficiency of care.
    New this year are chapters on care coordination, and health system infrastructure. The reports present, in chart form, the latest available findings on quality of and access to health care.
    The National Healthcare Quality Report tracks the health care system through quality measures, such as the percentage of heart attack patients who received recommended care when they reached the hospital or the percentage of children who received recommended vaccinations.
    The National Healthcare Disparities Report summarizes health care quality and access among various racial, ethnic, and income groups and other priority populations, such as residents of rural areas and people with disabilities.

     

 

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January 22, 2014 Posted by | Public Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life expectancy, life disparity

Family Inequality

This is a serious post about life expectancy and inequality. But first a short rant.

Quick: Life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.7 Your parents are 85. How much longer are they expected to live? If you were worried about how much time you had left to spend with them, and you asked the helpful site seeyourfolks.com, you would get this:

seeyourfolksThis app, and the Slate piece about it, managed to combined two of my pet peeves: the understandable difficulty with understanding life expectancy, and the inexcusable use of second-person reporting on social science findings, which does more to discredit than to disseminate important research.

The error here (apart from “you”) is the common notion that “life expectancy” is the average age at which people of any current age can expect to die. If we were more rigorous about using the phrase “life expectancy at birth” it would be easier…

View original post 759 more words

July 24, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health | , | Leave a comment

Discrimination may harm your health

Discrimination may harm your health

Excerpt from the 12 January 2012 Science Daily news item

Racial discrimination may be harmful to your health, according to new research from Rice University sociologists Jenifer Bratter and Bridget Gorman.

n the study, “Is Discrimination an Equal Opportunity Risk? Racial Experiences, Socio-economic Status and Health Status Among Black and White Adults,” the authors examined data containing measures of social class, race and perceived discriminatory behavior and found that approximately 18 percent of blacks and 4 percent of whites reported higher levels of emotional upset and/or physical symptoms due to race-based treatment.

“Discriminatory behavior very well may be a ‘missing link’ in the analysis of racial and ethnic health disparities,” Bratter said. “It’s important to acknowledge and study its impact on long-term health…

A greater number of blacks report poor health due to discrimination, and the study did find that black-white disparities in health are shaped in part by the differential exposure of blacks to the harmful effects of discrimination. However, Bratter and Gorman also show that while perceiving discrimination exacerbates some of the economic-based health risks more typically experienced by black adults, patterns differ for white adults. Regardless of social-class position, white adults who perceive unfair treatment relative to other racial groups in either workplace or health care settings report poorer health.

“A relatively small proportion of white adults report unfair treatment that is race-based, but those who do say their health status is harmed more than blacks who report the same experiences,” Gorman said.

 

January 27, 2012 Posted by | Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

   

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