There is a lot of poverty in Syracuse these days and so a recent study showing a link between low socioeconomic status and heart disease has a lot of people here worried. And heart disease is considered a priority health concern in Syracuse with an American Heart Association office located at 17 Technology Place PO Box 3049 Syracuse NY 13220-3049 phone: (315) 234-4700. An increased awareness about cardiovascular health in Syracuse finds more and more people eating heart healthy foods such as fish, vegetables and fruit and finding time for long walks out in the fresh air at Onondaga Lake.
Findings from a new study have been released in a University of California Davis Press release, “Lower socioeconomic status linked to heart disease.” According to this study “people with lower socioeconomic status are much more likely to develop heart disease than those who are wealthier or better educated.” This study shows that this risk persists even when there is long-term progress in addressing traditional risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. This study has been published in BMC Cardiovascular Disorders.
Dr. Peter Franks, lead author of the study, has said “Being poor or having less than a high school education can be regarded as an extra risk when assessing a patient’s chances of developing cardiovascular disease. People with low socioeconomic status need to have their heart-disease indicators managed more aggressively.” In the study participants with lower socioeconomic status had a 50 percent greater risk of developing heart disease than other study participants. For the first time this study showed that the increased risk for heart disease continued in the poor despite long-term improvements in other risk factors, with the implication that health-care access and adherence to treatment could not account for the differences.
Franks has said “Low socioeconomic status is a heart-disease risk factor on its own and needs to be regarded as such by the medical community.” It appears possible that social disadvantages and adversity in childhood associated with poverty may result in lasting adaptations to stress which take a bigger toll on the heart. The cumulative effects of social disadvantage throughout a lifetime could also cause more “wear and tear” on the cardiovascular system. This is a disturbing study which shows us that poverty kills in more ways than previously thought. A war on poverty must run alongside any aggressive health care programs if we hope to ever help the majority of people in our society experience good health.
Mandel News Service