“Healthcare: Social Inequalities affect care and mortality.” ~ by Dr. Antonio Giordano

Weak social groups are diagnosed with more cancers of the digestive system, whereas colorectal cases are more often found in the upper-middle-income social classes.

How much does social inequality still affect the evolution of a disease? Evaluating the extent of this impact on the health system would provide us with a complete picture of the situation with respect to healing, and mortality; but also with respect to the triggering causes, relating to the socioeconomic classes of the individual.

The trajectory following a pathology is not only influenced by lifestyle and exposure to environmental insults, but also by economic conditions: prolonged deprivation in the workplace and/or home – play a decisive role, not to mention the fact that, often, the subject resorts to national health care collides with delays in receiving analysis, diagnoses, and treatments with harmful outcomes where, on the other hand, prompt action (especially in cases of particularly aggressive tumors) could prove to be decisive.

It is not difficult to understand how the social condition affects cancers of the digestive system since the sick with a low income are often forced to feed on preserved and low-cost foods, giving up fresh and quality food.

Colorectal cancers, on the other hand, are generally found in subjects belonging to upper-middle-income social classes. Here, for the most part, a diet rich in fat, low in fiber, and a sedentary lifestyle is often seen.

Nonetheless, these patients can choose to be treated in private centers, thereby avoiding waiting lists.

Lung cancer, on the other hand, generally does not spare those who are exposed to fine fumes and dust for work, often without adequate safeguards like breast cancer which, despite free screening, penalizes the poorest segments of the population more.

It is clear that the economic condition affects the progress of the disease. Moreover, the phenomenon was also repeated in the case of the vaccination campaign for Covid which did not have the same outcome in the various countries of the world.

Health is still held in check by undemocratic logic; it would be necessary to strengthen the health system, but also to increase information with respect to free screenings and visits for the most vulnerable.

Originally published by Dr. Antonio Giordano on La Voce Di New York in Italian, Click Here to read.

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