Inequalities Of Health In Britain Today

2315 words - 9 pages

Inequalities Of Health In Britain Today

In Britain today, inequalities of health are common among many
different groups of people. Recent comparisons have shown that Britain
is in the middle of comparable Western countries in relation to
inequalities of health.

Class has a huge influence on health. There is a large gap in how
healthy those in lower class groups are compared to those in higher
class groups, and many people believe that this gap is widening. For
example, the poorest groups in Britain live, on average, 8 years less
than those in rich groups, and while only 10% of social class I are
obese, 25 % of social class V are obese. This is the same level as in
the United States of America, which is known to have the highest rate
of obesity and related diseases in the world. Diseases such as lung
cancer, heart disease and strokes are all much higher in the lower
classes than the higher groups. The lower classes also have much
higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse, and therefore higher rates of
related diseases. Upper and middle class mothers are much more likely
to breastfeed their babies, which leads to the next generation being
healthier. It is not surprising that out of the 89,000 children in
care in Britain, 82% are from the lower class, since children often
end up in care as a direct or indirect result of poverty.

Geography, which closely links to class, also affects the population's
health greatly. In Whitfield South ward, 96% of children live below
the poverty line, which is far above the national average. Northern
Ireland has the highest infant mortality rate in Britain, while Wales
has the highest teenage pregnancy rate. These statistics are even more
shocking, as Britain as a whole already has an incredibly high rate of
teenage pregnancy compared to the rest of Europe. Following a recent
survey, it was discovered that all the poorest places in Britain are
in Scotland, which profoundly affects Scotland's health and knowledge
of health. In Wester Hailes 9.8% of babies born had a low birth weight
compared to the Edinburgh average of 4.8%. In Greater Pilton there are
27% more deaths than average, 31% more cancer deaths and 16% more
heart disease, as well as highly above average suicide rates. All
these facts tell us that where you live seriously affects your health
and the type of health care you receive.

Non-white groups make up only 5.5% of Britain's population, but people
in ethnic minority groups are much more likely to describe their
health as "poor" of "fair" compared to those of the ethnic majority.
Four fifths of Pakistani and Bangladeshi people living in Britain
exist in poverty, which is defined as less than half of the average
income. Their income is about half of that for whites in the same
social class. The women in this ethnic group are also less...

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