People whose income fall at or below the poverty line often must go without healthcare services they need. Low-income women in particular are at risk of developing chronic or deadly health conditions like heart disease because they cannot afford to go to a doctor. In fact, statistics show that economically disadvantaged females have a 25 percent higher risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease. This fact has prompted women’s healthcare advocates to call for changes in the nation’s laws to make insurance more affordable and accessible.
The Correlation between Lower-Income Female Earners and Heart Disease
People with lower incomes understandably have less money to spend on medical care and even routine services like physicals. While the poorest of women may qualify for Medicaid, women who are not eligible for the program by a tight margin must pay costly insurance premiums or renounce health coverage altogether.
Oftentimes, women who cannot get state-subsidized coverage would rather use their money to pay household bills than buy insurance. These decisions mean that many American women cannot afford to go to the doctor when they are not feeling well. For some women, this also means leaving their heart conditions undiagnosed until the illness has irreversibly compromised their health.
Ironically, however, the same statistics show that both men and women who are low-income earners face the same risk of stroke. Heart disease could be more prevalent in women in general just by design and the evolutionary process that makes women’s hearts more fragile than men’s. Combining the natural fragile design of female hearts with other factors like pregnancy and childbirth could further explain why women, especially lower-income ones, develop heart disease and heart failure during the middle to latter part of their lives. However, at least women with a higher income can access the care they need to enjoy better health and longevity, a privilege lower-income women don’t have.
Other Health Concerns for Low Income Women
Pregnancy and childbirth take their toll on a woman’s body regardless of the amount of money that she earns. However, as with heart disease, these conditions tend to be more life-threatening when women lack the money necessary for their healthcare during these troubling times in their lives. After they studied North American, Asian, and European women, sociologists noted that lower-income women had a higher risk of dying or suffering a traumatic medical event during pregnancy and delivery than their higher-earning counterparts. Lower-income women also tend to suffer from post-natal complications like infection, fever, or infertility more than wealthy women do.
Likewise, lower-income females have higher incidences of cancer, lung disease, and other conditions that put their lives at risk. Healthcare advocates use these statistics to argue for better medical services and insurance coverage for women who earn less. These advocates say that women should not have to suffer and die needlessly simply because they do not have the necessary money in their bank accounts as other people do, especially men who on average earn more than women.
Women throughout the world tend to have a higher risk of life-threatening illnesses like heart disease and conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. Researchers note that the prevalence of these illnesses is not just relegated to one part of the world. Women in many locations have a worse health that often correlates with the amount of money they earn. Advocates argue that low-income earners, especially women, need a better healthcare and access to insurance services to live as long as men do.
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