Race, Class, and the Social Determinants of Health

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Word count: 508 For a variety of reasons, it is easier for the monied classes to access quality health care when needed and, in general, lead healthier lifestyles. People of higher socioeconomic groups have been shown to live longer (Scrambler, 2012). Beginning with higher infant mortality rates, lower socioeconomic groups often face a lifetime of challenges to good health and longevity. David and Messer (2011) reported on a study by the National Institutes of Health that revealed the rate of infant mortality among African American women living within walking distance of the Capitol was 23.9 per 1,000 live births in 1989 1991 slightly worse than rates during the same time period in Panama and Sri Lanka. Access to prenatal care, the norm for the middle and upper classes, was lacking for this group. Family support, a non-medical factor, was also shown to be generally lacking for the lowest socioeconomic group. Studies have shown that there is a higher rate of obesity among the lower socioeconomic classes (Kanaya, Santoyo-Olsosson, Gregorich, Grossman, Moore, and Stewart, 2012).. Obesity can lead to debilitating or even deadly conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Overweight children with poor eating habits are likely to grow into overweight adults with poor eating habits; without education, they do not know how to make positive changes. In addition to the often higher costs of healthier food choices, it also costs money to join a gym or even play school
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