Sunday, July 24, 2011

Proving that poverty and racism kills

OK, we all know something isn't real until scientists measure it.  Forget about our personal experiences, our life learning, our sense of our community and our world--  we need that hard, cold data.

Excuse my sarcasm.  Scientific studies are important because, really, you can't make a case to Congress or City Hall solely on anecdotal information.

A study published in the June 16th issue of the American Journal of Public Health has calculated deaths for six social factors and here are the results: "Approximately 245, 000 deaths in the United States in 2000 were attributable to low education, 176,000 to racial segregation, 162,000 to low social support, 133,000 to individual-level poverty, 119,000 to income inequality, and 39,000 to area-level poverty."

Check out the letter at the end of the study summary which calls the figures an underestimation because the study does not calculated for the combined effects of experiencing one or more factors:  low education plus racism, low social support plus poverty,  etc.

Memorize these figures, folks. 

Photo from Joe the Misfit's photostream at Flickr. Print Friendly and PDF

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