Nav: Home

Health of poor Brits worse than that of those born a century ago

January 20, 2020

The self-reported health of poor Brits is worse than that of people born a century ago, suggests a large nationally representative study of more than 200,000 working-age people, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

The findings indicate that the gap in health has widened between the richest and the poorest, so storing up additional pressures on healthcare from those least able to look after their own health in older age, suggests the author.

A growing body of research shows that health outcomes in Britain are linked to socioeconomic status, and that differences in these between the richest and poorest in society have widened since the 1970s. But few studies have looked at the potential impact of income and year of birth on this gap.

The author wanted to find out if 'baby boomers' born after 1945 rated their health as better or worse than those born in the early 1920s, according to household income, in a bid to gauge future healthcare need.

The author drew on responses to the General Household Survey for 1979-2011 from people living in England, Wales and Scotland, to create nationally representative 3-year 'health' snapshots of the generations born between 1920 and 1970.

He looked specifically at the differences in the prevalence of long term conditions (limiting illness) and self reported general health between the richest and the poorest 30 to 59 year- olds for this period.

He found that inequalities in the prevalence of long term conditions between the richest and poorest households had doubled among women and by 1.5 times among men born in 1920-22 compared with those born in 1968-70.

For example, around one in four (26%) men born in 1920-22, living in the poorest households, said they had a limiting illness compared with around one in six (16%) in the richest households.

For men born in 1968-70, more than a third (35%) of those living in the poorest households reported a limiting illness compared with only around one in 10 (11%) of those living in the richest households.

For women born in 1920-22, around one in seven (15%) living in the poorest households reported 'not good' health compared with nearly one in 10 (8%) in the richest households. For women born in 1968-70, around one in five (19%) said their health wasn't 'good' compared with around one in 10 (9%) in the richest households.

"The results presented here show a widening in health inequalities by income in later-born British birth cohorts, 1920-70," writes the author.

"They point to a greater future demand in healthcare from people in society who will be least capable of managing their health as they enter ages when [ill health] becomes more common."

Without any concerted action to address this, there will likely be further widening of the gap in early deaths between the richest and poorest in society, because of the strong links between poor self rated health and long term conditions and sickness and death, he emphasises.

"This is doubly important because of the growing size of later-born postwar baby boom cohorts up to 1972 that will mean that there is likely to be more people in poor health irrespective of relative declines in the prevalence of [long term conditions] in later born postwar cohorts," he says.
Peer reviewed? Yes
Evidence type: Observational
Subjects: People


Related Healthcare Articles:

Women and men executives have differing perceptions of healthcare workplaces according to a survey report in the Journal of Healthcare Management
Healthcare organizations that can attract and retain talented women executives have the advantage over their peers, finds a special report in the September/October issue of the Journal of Healthcare Management, an official publication of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
Greater financial integration generally not associated with better healthcare quality
New findings from a Dartmouth-led study, published in the August issue of Health Affairs, show that larger, more integrated healthcare systems do not generally deliver better quality care, and that there is significant variation in quality scores across hospitals and physician practices, regardless of whether they are independent or owned by larger systems.
Wearable sensor may help to assess stress in healthcare workers
A wearable biosensor may help monitor stress experienced by healthcare professionals, according to a study published in Physiological Reports.
Healthcare innovators focus on 'quality as a business strategy' -- update from Journal of Healthcare Quality
Despite two decades of effort -- targeting care processes, outcomes, and most recently the value of care - progress has been slow in closing the gap between quality and cost in the US healthcare system.
How runaway healthcare costs are a threat to older adults and what to do about it
Empowering Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices, accelerating the adoption of value-based care, using philanthropy as a catalyst for reform and expanding senior-specific models of care are among recommendations for reducing healthcare costs published in a new special report and supplement to the Winter 2019-20 edition of Generations, the journal of the American Society of Aging (ASA).
How can healthcare achieve real technology driven transformation?
Real transformation in healthcare through the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, telecommunications, and other advanced technologies could provide significant improvements in healthcare quality, productivity, and access.
Increasing transparency in the healthcare sector: More might not be better
More isn't always better. That's what researchers say when it comes to transparency in the US healthcare system.
LGBT+ women face barriers to healthcare
New study suggests diversity messaging is not filtering down to frontline staff.
US and China should collaborate, not compete, to bring AI to healthcare
In the wake of the US government ordering the Chinese artificial intelligence company, iCarbonX, to divest its majority ownership stake in the Cambridge, Mass.-based company PatientsLikeMe, Eric Topol, MD, of Scripps Research, has co-written a commentary arguing for more, not less, collaboration between China and the US on artificial intelligence (AI) development.
Study highlights need for integrated healthcare for the homeless
A University of Birmingham study has found alarming evidence of severe mental health problems, substance dependence and alcohol misuse amongst homeless population.
More Healthcare News and Healthcare Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.