只有穷人才会早逝

鹿特丹—平均而言,在社会经济阶梯中处于下半截的人(可以用教育水平、职位和收入来作为指标)寿命更短、健康状况更差。事实上,根据社会和经济福利的不同,出生寿命预期通常可以相差5—10年,较贫困人群每年要多花10—20年与病魔或残疾搏斗。

在十九世纪,这一结果并不令人惊奇,因为那时平均收入较低、贫困普遍存在,也缺乏社会保障。但是,这一数据在当今高收入国家也屡见不鲜,包括在经济繁荣和人类发展指数排名上位居前列的国家,甚至是西欧高度发达的福利国家。

二战结束以来,西欧国家试图通过累进税、社会保障计划和各种集体出资项目(比如公共住房、教育、医疗和文化和休闲设施)来抑制社会经济不平等性或抵消其后果。但是,尽管这些政策在一些社会和经济结果中降低了不平等性(包括收入、住房质量和卫生服务等方面),它们仍不足以消除健康不平等性。

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