Income And Health: Literature Review On Health And Poverty

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II. Literature Review:
Health and Income : While it is widely recognised that poverty, or low income, is associated with poor health, even in rich societies, the nature of the relationship between income and health status is not clearly understood. A degree of confusion is often created by the use of occupational class as a proxy for income and by the failure to take account of the fact that poor health can lead to low income as well as vice versa.

A recent review of the literature has identified a range of studies that examine the relationship between adult health and income over time . These studies employ a range of different ways of measuring income over time, which can be roughly grouped into three categories: 1) income levels over a number of years ,2) income change over time , 3) duration of poverty experience. All of the studies identified that include measures of income levels over time find a significant correlation with health outcomes. One study that incorporates both long-term and current income finds that the former has a much more powerful impact on health than the latter (Mullis, 1992). However, McDonough et al. (1997) find little difference in the association
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However, higher pollution levels may be associated with higher income because economic development often leads to greater wealth at the cost of greater pollution. Per capita income, which reflects the county’s socioeconomic status and the extent of development, is a protective factor for health. Higher income is hypothesized to enhance population health status. Thus, it is possible that pollution may have an indirect favorable effect on health by allowing an increase in income, which, in turn, would allow greater health improvements. Infant mortality is chosen as a measure of population health status due to its sensitivity to both environmental and economic
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