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Saturday, November 5th 2005

Low Income = Poor Outcomes

I’m not even sure why this study was undertaken. I have a lot to learn concerning research, no doubt, but I just don’t see the benefits of this study. Maybe the article is misrepresenting the intention of the study but the headline reads, “Higher Death Rate for Low Income HIV Patients“.

From the article:

Prior research has shown that HIV-infected patients from a low socioeconomic background, as well as racial and ethnic minorities, receive fewer health services, including treatment with Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART). The researchers examined whether these patients also had higher mortality rates than others.

How can this be a surprise to anyone? It might be; there might be a lot of misrepresentation about the level of care the poor actually recieve. But if this is an attempt at increasing public awareness it is a poor one (as probably anything published in The Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved is) and if it was an actual attempt to determine whether the poor truly have poorer outcomes then it was a wasted effort.

There’s probably a good finding for higher mortality and morbidity for lower socioeconomic status across virtually all health afflictions. Well not all…but very many, especially chronic ones. I don’t need a study to say that.