Health Inequalities Essay
The authors of this book, Kawachi & Kennedy (2002) evaluate how social class inequality may directly affect the health of a nation as a result of poor health and mortality rates.
To further discover and support the authors arguments, this paper evaluates a case study in Glaslow, a region suitable for health inequalities investigations. Health inequalities in this area have been extensively documented and analysed by many researchers, both individual and corporate. In this region, social-economic diversity is very high, with the region harbouring some of the most deprived habitats, as well as some of the most affluent regions in Scotland. Health inequalities are evident with regard to social class, deprivation and gender (Benzeval, 2011).
In particular, Leyland (2007) discovered that in Glasgow, the mortality rate of males is high regardless of social class. Additionally, they observed that the social-economic structure of Glasgow could not explain the high mortality rates evident in the region adequately (Leyland, 2007). This has been demonstrated through physical, mortality, lifestyle behaviours and physical illness related to health (Kawachi & Kennedy, 2002). Glasgow population represents almost a quarter of the entire Scotland’s population. With this in mind, it is imperative to note that improving the health conditions in this region can be a significant step in reducing health inequalities in Scotland (Benzeval, 2011). This is due to the fact this region harbours some of the most deprived populations in Scotland. Additionally, the peculiarities of the factors that determine the health in the Glasgow region require a definite approach.
According to statistics in Glasgow, people in the lower social-economic sphere tend to live a shorter life that their counterparts of the higher social-economic sphere (Leyland, 2007). This is based on the fact that the lower social-economic people may face difficult situations and lifestyles than the rest. In addition, Benzeval (2011) concur that this economic class is faced with many social problems that affect their life expectancy. In particular, mortality rates in Glasgow are high due to high rates of cancer. This is a result of the high rate of smoking evident in the region (Blamey, 2002).
The life expectancy of women is also lower that of men in Glasgow. These inequalities of life expectancy with regard to gender are caused by various factors. This indicates that the difference in the inequalities may be caused by natural selection theory. Naturally, women are more adaptive than men. However, women are more prone to life complications as they mature. This happens in the lower social-economic percentile where people are faced with more life challenges (Benzeval, 2011). Furthermore, research states that women are faced with more serious illnesses with regard to their occupations, emotional conditions and family roles. In other words, Blamey (2002) explains that inequalities in the Glasgow region in arise as a result of financial capabilities because the region harbours some of the most deprived habitats.
Recommendations and Conclusion
The high rates of health inequalities in Glasgow have aroused the need to address this issue promptly. This need is supported by the overwhelming evidence regarding health inequalities in the region. Therefore, it is important to implement effective strategies through political leadership, long-term resourcing policies, and continuous improvement (Kawachi & Kennedy, 2002). This early intervention will be very effective to tackle the problem of health inequality that exists in the region. In addition, the local government should also support the agenda by the establishing of priorities that enhance the reduction of health inequalities in Glasgow.
Benzeval, M. J. (2011). What is the role of income in creating health inequalities? Evidence from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. University of Glasgow.
Blamey, A. (2002). Health inequalities in the new Scotland. Glasgow [Scotland], Public Health Institute of Scotland.
Leyland, A. H. (2007). Inequalities in mortality in Scotland, 1981-2001. Glasgow, MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit.
Kawachi, I., & Kennedy, B. P. (2002). The health of nations: why inequality is harmful to your health. New York: New Press.