Background: It is recognised that CVD affects an individual's financial situation, placing them in income poverty. However, recent developments in poverty measurement practice recognises other forms of disadvantage other than low income, such as poor health and insufficient education also affect living standards.
Methods: Using the Freedom Poverty Measure, the multiple forms of disadvantage experienced by those with no health condition, heart disease, other diseases of the circulatory system, and all other health conditions was assessed using data on the adult Australian population contained in the 2003 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers.
Results: 24% of those with heart disease and 23% of those with other diseases of the circulatory system were in freedom poverty, suffering from multiple forms of disadvantage. Those with heart disease and those with other diseases of the circulatory system were around three times more likely to be in freedom poverty (OR 3.02, 95% CI: 2.29-3.99, p<.0001; OR 2.78, 95% CI: 1.94-3.98, p<.0001) than those with no health condition.
Conclusions: Recognising the multiple forms of disadvantage suffered by those with CVD provides a clearer picture of their living standards than just looking at their income alone and the high proportion of individuals with CVD that are suffering from multiple forms of disadvantage should make them a target for policy makers wishing to improve living standards.
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