Inequality/Low Socio-Economic Status (SES)
social and economic structures of society create a gradient of health
disparities. People further down the social ladder usually run at least
twice the risk of serious illness and premature death of those near
the top. Relative poverty, as well as absolute poverty, leads to worse
health and increased risks of premature death.
The most detrimental
health effects are felt at the bottom, among people who live in poverty
and in poverty areas. However, the Work Group decided that prevention
efforts should be focused toward low socio-economic status (SES), a
broader concern. Those with low SES are not necessarily living in poverty
-- they may not qualify for federal programs that have specific definitions
of poverty. The effects of low SES are widespread and profound.
Poor social and
economic circumstances affect health throughout life.