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Biological Foundation Of Health And Illness

1488 words - 6 pages

Introduction
It was Martin Luther King Jnr. who stated famously that “injustice in health is the most shocking of all inequalities.” (Norris & Nissenson, 2008) Iniquity and injustice in the health sector is facilitated by social-demographic variables such as gender, socioeconomic status, and race, which all play a center stage role in creating health disparities among communities (Chen, Martin, Mathews, 2006). These characteristics affect a wide category of groups which includes children, the elderly, and women. Basically, individuals from high income backgrounds often enjoy lower mortality rates in comparison to those from poor backgrounds because of their economic status. Similarly, and with regard to race, the white population in America, for example, exhibits lower mortality rates as opposed to that of African Americans. This variance is repeated over and over within every category that maybe susceptible to health discrimination. The purpose of this research paper is to critically examine the effects of race, gender and socioeconomic status on the health of Hispanic women in the state of Arizona.
Effects of Ethnicity, Gender and Socioeconomic Status on Hispanic Women in Arizona
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (2009), there exists a close relationship between gender, and the likelihood of good health, or the prevalence thereof, of certain illnesses or disorders. Certain health anomalies are unique only to men, while on the other and, other still might be found to affect women alone. Therefore, the gender of a particular individual might dictate to a certain extent, some of the ailments that may become visible in the course of life. An example is breast cancer, which is peculiarly dominant in women. Hispanic Women living in Arizona would be considered a minority group based on both gender and ethnicity classifications. Therefore, they face double hardships in relation to health inequalities.
Perhaps the biggest effect of health inequality or discrimination among this population is an increase in mortality rates. It should be noted that in addressing the effect of ethnicity, that of socioeconomic status will be addresses too, because of the close relation between the two. This is exemplified by the fact that Hispanic women face discrimination due to their race in terms of health access, occurs by virtue of the fact that this particular group comes from low economic backgrounds. Increased mortality rates among Hispanic women in Arizona is factored in as originating from the lack of health insurance, and poor social living standards brought about by poverty. For example, compared to white women in Arizona, Hispanic women in the same state are especially more likely to obtain abortions, which as many would agree, would prove disastrous if not performed by a qualified physician. Yet it costs quite a lot for such operations, and the Hispanic women of Arizona cannot afford such healthcare benefits.
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