Poverty, socioeconomic disparities impact health outcomes

Those charged with improving healthcare quality must not overlook the potential impact of poverty and socioeconomic disparities on health outcomes of individuals, according to an editorial published online March 6, 2018 in BMJ Quality and Safety. The article was co-authored by Andrew Boozary, SM’14, a visiting scientist in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Kaveh Shojania of the University of Toronto.

The authors commented on several studies in the BMJ issue that addressed the “underappreciated impacts” of poverty, ranging from missed medical appointments to impaired cognitive function—the ability of a person to handle new challenges requiring mental focus.

“For many patients, their journeys across settings of care cannot be understood, never mind improved, without attention to the socioeconomic context in which they occur,” the authors wrote.

Learn more

Poverty, disasters & health against all odds (Harvard Public Health magazine)

Sleep problems and poverty: how socioeconomics impact our sleep and health (Harvard Chan School news)

High blood pressure now a ‘condition of poverty’ (Harvard Chan School news)

Longevity gap between rich and poor expanding (Harvard Chan School news)

Zip code better predictor of health than genetic code (Harvard Chan School news)