Pourquoi les plus riches sont-ils en meilleure santé ?

DURHAM – En 1842, le réformateur social anglais Edwin Chadwick documenta une divergence de 30 ans entre l’espérance de vie des individus issus des classes sociales les plus pauvres et ceux de la gentry. Aujourd’hui, les personnes habitant dans les zones les plus aisées de Grande Bretagne, comme Kensington et Chelsea, peuvent s’attendre à vivre 14 années de plus que celles qui vivent dans les villes plus pauvres comme Glasgow.

De telles inégalités existent à des degrés divers dans tous les pays développés. Les groupes les plus pauvres s’en sortent particulièrement mal dans le système néo-libéral américain ; les écarts d’espérance de vie dans certaines villes américaines comme la Nouvelle Orléans peuvent atteindre 25 ans.

Comprendre et réduire ces inégalités de santé demeure un défi de politique publique majeur partout dans le monde. Ce n’est pas uniquement une question morale ; les inégalités de santé impliquent aussi des coûts économiques significatifs. Mais les causes de ces inégalités sont complexes et contestées, et les solutions, élusives.

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