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‘If livin’ were a thing that money could buy / The rich would live and the poor would die.’  It is, and these lines, from a spiritual temporarily made famous in the 1960s by Joan Baez, remain the best succinct description of the origins of health inequalities. Occasionally, that reality thrusts itself into the consciousness of the high-income world, as in the case of Hurricane Katrina and the Grenfell Tower disaster.  In the case of Katrina, when the hurricane hit and the levees broke (after years of governmental neglect), evacuation plans presumed that everyone had access to an automobile.  Those who […]
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It is now widely argued that humanity has entered a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – characterised by the unprecedented scale, scope and interactions of multiple human impacts on the biosphere.  Climate change is the most familiar of these impacts, but it is far from the only one, and understandings of what the concept of the Anthropocene means for health policy and public health practice are still at an early stage.  The idea of the Anthropocene can also serve as a ‘window’ into broader issues related to the connections between environment and health, in such contexts as the health consequences of urban air pollution […]
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Some public policies should carry health warning labels like cigarettes or uncooked meat. Certainly that is true for a reckless and ill-thought-out policy like the UK government’s current approach to leaving the European Union, after a close advisory referendum in which at least one of the campaigns would quickly have run afoul of trading standards law if had involved a consumer product. As controversy rages on about exit paths – ‘strategies’ would be too kind a word – health researchers and professionals are asking how Brexit could and will affect public health. Among the questions informed by a political economy […]
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by Ted Schrecker and Clare Bambra Within the small local authority of Stockton-on-Tees in the North East of England (population 192,000), the difference in male life expectancy between the most and least deprived areas is 17 years – comparable to the difference in average male life expectancy between the UK and Russia or Senegal.  In Washington, DC around the turn of the century, the difference in male life expectancy between the poor (and predominantly black) southeast of the city and the wealthy, overwhelmingly white suburbs in Maryland was even larger (20 years). These health inequalities reflect underlying social and economic inequalities.  […]
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