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SOC367- Prelim 1 Study Questions for 3-8-10

SOC367- Prelim 1 Study Questions for 3-8-10 - HD3570/SOC...

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HD3570/SOC 3670 February 21, 2010 Social Inequalities in Physical and Mental Health Prof. E. Wethington Study Questions for the First Prelim (Prelim 1 is March 8, at class time, in the regular classroom) On the test, you will be asked to make your references to the readings specific, rather than vague. A reference is specific if you use the name of the first author of the article or chapter. You will note that the questions below ask you to be specific when answering the questions. 1. What is the “burden of disease”? Why was such a measure created? The burden of disease is the idea that social conditions play a considerable role in health outcomes. Those in the lower SES classes have significantly higher rates of disease and mortality than those in the upper SES. According to Michaud, big uncontrollable factors such as education, income, and SES have a huge effect on health outcomes, with those in the low SES suffering more years of disability (DALY) than those with more resources. Those in the lower class were also more likely to experience unmanageable stress and use coping mechanisms such as smoking and drinking, which further compound health discrepancies. 2. Why does Marmot argue that the status syndrome is a “challenge to medicine”? In Marmot’s article on the status syndrome, the biggest challenge to healthcare providers is making sure that all citizens have access to healthcare. In the United States in particular, Marmot noted that the US is unique in that it does not offer universal access to medical care like its fellow industrialized countries. Advances in actual medical care will not bring up the longevity rates of the United States if there is still an enormous divide in the healthcare system. 3. What do Link and Phelan define as the “fundamental cause of disease”? Using an additional specific reading from the course (other than The Solid Facts ), describe how it illustrates the “fundamental cause of disease.” According to Link and Phelan, SES is the fundamental cause of disease. It is so fundamental because there are many subsidiary causes linking income to better health outcomes. For instance, if having income means that you can afford health insurance, there will be better health outcomes; if you do not have enough income to afford health insurance, then you will fare poorly. However, being a “fundamental” cause of disease goes well beyond the one medium of insurance. Suppose the United States granted everyone health insurance; there would still be discrepancies in health. Other ways of preserving health inequalities would find themselves into society. Those who are poor will still have poorer diets, more stress, more coping mechanisms such as smoking, and lack of transportation to their medical visits. These will preserve the disease discrepancies between the rich and the poor.
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