Two pathways, but how much do they diverge?

BMJ. 1999 Oct 9;319(7215):956-7.


PIP: This document presents an argument on how low income differences are associated to the well being of the population. The health of the population was said to be related to either narrow differences in individual income or the greater effect of social disparity. The reality of the health benefits or the central policy implications could not be modified by the pathway. An experiment conducted on monkeys revealed that low status is a risk factor for poor health in a plausible psychosocial pathway. The income of the individual can be considered as one of the marker for social status and inequality in the society can be caused by material risk factors. Inequality effect of the small proportion of the population may be too great when explained using a curvature. Also, the income and health status in the developed countries is closely related and would still fall on the better part of the international curve. A less democratic society may develop an aggressive and less supportive social environment could cause deprivation and low social status. An increase in health inequalities was driven by a more socially antagonistic, delinquent and risky forms of behavior accompanied by deprivation throughout the society. The reduction of health inequalities associated between the pathways of income inequality and population health must not differ with the aim of improving health standards in the society. As a result, redistribution of health services could probably increase the health of those who are in need.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mortality*
  • Social Class