loading
  • Photograph by Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

A ‘birth lottery’ still determines who gets to live longest, healthiest life

Health starts - long before illness - in our homes, schools, and jobs. All of us should have a fair opportunity to make the choices that allow us live a long, healthy life, regardless of where we were born. Unfortunately, many are not given this chance due to social inequality and a lack of social mobility.

Where-is-the-Land-of-Opportunity.png

 

"I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the places on this map with the lowest social mobility also tend to have the worst health outcomes. Lack of mobility is strongly correlated with worse segregation, greater income inequality, poor local school quality, diminished social capital, and broken family structure – factors that are also linked to poor health."

Even when poor children manage to escape poverty, a “birth lottery” may still determine who gets to live longest and healthiest. Exposure to adverse conditions during fetal development and early infancy appears to be capable of causing irreversible consequences decades later, such as increased vulnerability to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and premature death."

Read the full article, "A ‘birth lottery’ still determines who gets to live longest, healthiest life," Joe Rojas-Burke, May 7, 2014, Association of Health Care Journalists. 

Connect upstream.