Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Among The Poor Physical Functioning Declines More Rapidly

 

US residents without health insurance in %; U....

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From a November 9, 2011 article at Medical News Today

A new national study shows that wealthier Americans and those with private health insurance fare better than others on one important measure of health – and this health gap only grows wider as they age.

Researchers found that, when the study began, middle-aged and older Americans with more income and assets reported having less trouble with five activities of daily living: walking across a room, bathing, eating, dressing and getting in and out of bed. …

…The data in this study can’t answer the question of how socioeconomic status and private health insurance help protect people’s physical functioning, Richardson said. But the results fit with other studies that suggest that economically disadvantaged people may not be able to afford medications they need, or may take steps to make their prescriptions last longer, like cutting pills in half.

They may also skip diagnostic tests that could help identify disease earlier, when it is more treatable. This may be especially true for those who lack private health insurance that can help pay for expensive testing.

“One of the first questions many elderly adults ask when their doctors order tests is ‘will my insurance cover it?’ Richardson says.

Richardson said the findings suggest that our public health care policies need to consider how people’s economic resources will change their physical functioning as they age.

“Our policies need to incorporate a life course perspective. We need to find way to prevent the rapid deterioration in physical functioning that is more likely among those who have fewer resources.”

Read the entire article

November 12, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Unemployment: A health risk

Unemployment: A health risk

Unemployment rate in Europe (UE) and United St...

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[Click on image to enlarge, graph caption – Unemployment rate: Europe and the United States : 1993-2009]

From the February 4, 2011 Eureka news alert

Compared to people in employment, men and women who are unemployed suffer more often and longer from both physical and emotional complaints. Why the un-employed should have health problems more often is discussed by Lars E. Kroll and his coauthor in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2011; 4: 47-52), along with a report on the findings of the GEDA study. [It is in English]

The GEDA study (Gesundheit in Deutschland Aktuell, or Current Health in Germany) was carried out in 2008-2009 by the Robert Koch Institute. The results showed that unemployed people between the ages of 30 and 59 years are especially often affected by physical, emotional, and functional impairments such as sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance addictions. As a result, the unemployed make more use of the health care system.

The health consequences of unemployment result from loss of income, loss of so-cial contacts in the workplace, or loss of social reputation. Unemployed men and women who are supported by their partners, family members, or friends are less frequently affected by these complaints.

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http://www.aerzteblatt.de/v4/archiv/pdf.asp?id=80529

February 6, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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