Wealth inequality and health: observational study
- By: Hazel Inskip
Being poor is bad enough in itself, but is it worse for your health if there are far richer people around you than if everyone is poor? There is evidence for this in developed countries, where being poor is not at the level of starvation, but is it true worldwide?
The authors set out to assess whether national mortality varies more by wealth or by inequality. In other words, which leads to the higher national death rate: living in a poor county or living in a country with great inequality? And do the influences of wealth and inequality vary at different ages?
The study design was an ecological study. The Chambers Dictionary definition of “ecology” is “the scientific study of plants, animals, or peoples and institutions, in relation to environment.” Here the use of the word is in the sense of the study of people in relation to their environment.