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How Does Poverty Affect The Community

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How Does Poverty Affect The Community – Poverty has long been known to be associated with worse outcomes, including a higher risk of dying from . These and other differences are believed to be caused by many different factors.

A new study by NCI researchers and colleagues takes a deeper look at the links between poverty and death in the United States.

How Does Poverty Affect The Community

The study found that people who live in US counties facing persistent poverty are more likely to die than people in other counties. This risk exceeded the increased risk seen in areas experiencing immediate but not persistent poverty, said study researcher Robert Croyle, Ph.D., director of NCI’s Division of Population Control and Science (DCCPS).

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These “intriguing findings … provide insight into social factors that influence health among populations most likely to be adversely affected, particularly African Americans and Hispanics,” said Dr. Brian Rivers, MPH, director of the Equity Health Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine, who was not involved in the new research.

, have potentially important implications for policy and other measures aimed at reducing disparities, said University of Michigan epidemiologist Lauren Wallner, M.P.H., who was also not involved in the study.

In addition to trying to change factors that affect the risk of suffering at an individual level, such as smoking or obesity, “we need to think more broadly to address the structural and social factors and inequalities” that negatively affect communities suffering from persistent poverty. , said dr. Wallner said.

For this study, researchers collected mortality data for the period 2007-2011 for every county in the United States. Persistent poverty counties, according to the US Census, are defined as those where 20% or more of the population has lived below the federal poverty level since 1980. Current poverty counties are defined as 20% or more of the population living below the federal poverty level. . level during the study period.

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Persistently poor counties, which made up about 12 percent of all U.S. counties, were unevenly distributed, with many clustered in the southeastern United States. The team found that counties with persistent poverty are primarily rural and have higher percentages of black and Hispanic residents than counties without persistent poverty.

Previous studies have shown that mortality is higher in rural areas of the United States, which tend to have higher rates of poverty, lack of access to health care and other challenges compared to most urban and suburban areas.

In 2007-2011 the annual mortality rate of all types (total mortality) was 12% higher in counties with persistent poverty than in counties without persistent poverty (201.3 versus 179.3 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants).

In addition, total mortality was 7.4% higher in counties with persistent poverty than in counties with current but not persistent poverty.

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The 12 percent increase in mortality observed with persistent poverty “is a significant effect,” said Dr. Wallner. That difference “approaches the magnitude of the racial mortality gap” between blacks and whites in the United States, which is about 16 percent, the study team wrote.

Looking at the most common types, the team found that persistent poverty was associated with a significantly increased risk of dying from several specific diseases, including lung, colorectal, stomach and liver.

Understanding the interplay between different risk factors associated with poor health outcomes, such as living in persistent poverty, belonging to certain racial or ethnic groups, and living in a rural community is important, said study researcher Shobha Srinivasan, Ph.D. Sr. Health Disparities Adviser at DCCPS.

“All these things pile up on top of each other, but it’s important to untangle them” and find out the exact reasons for the higher death rate in persistently poor counties, said Dr. Croyle. “We’re trying to start doing it systematically … but it’s more complicated than it’s often thought,” he added.

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The new study, he continued, shows “the importance of considering historical context in understanding health disparities and then developing strategies to reduce those disparities.” In other words, Dr. Croyle said, “you can’t look forward without looking back.”

Addressing the factors driving disparities in deaths will require action on many fronts, said Dr. Wallner.

For example, strategies to reduce disparities might include creating outdoor spaces where people feel safe while exercising and providing access to stores that sell healthy foods. Addressing issues such as racism, crime and violence, which contribute to health disparities, will also be important, said Dr. Rivers.

To better address the structural and social factors that drive disparities in poor communities, Dr. Rivers said, “We need to better involve leaders at the state and local level.” That includes governors, mayors, county commissioners and member councils, he added.

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Developing strategies to address these disparities will require a team of experts from multiple fields, including epidemiologists, public policy experts and economists, said Dr. Srinivasan.

The study did not include how long people who died during the study period had lived in the county, said Dr. Wallner. “Living longer in persistent poverty can have even more pronounced effects” on mortality, he said.

In addition, the study did not include information on individual-level factors related to regional differences in mortality, such as smoking or people’s attitudes about seeking medical help if they have it.

However, Dr. Wallner, “the study adds strength to what we know about studying disparities beyond individual-level contributions, and to our thinking about how poverty and area resources influence those disparities.”

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In the future, said dr. Rivers, scientists who study other health disparities “need to broaden the way we measure poverty over time” instead of just looking at a person’s socioeconomic status at a particular point in time.

Dr. Srinivasan and Croyle agreed that it will also be important to reach out and build trust with communities facing persistent poverty and involve them and their residents in future studies. linked to a .gov website. Share confidential information only on official and secure websites.

The official US poverty rate was 11.6% in 2021, while the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) fell to 7.8%, the lowest point on record, according to data from the United States Office released today.

Each year, the Bureau publishes two poverty estimates to provide a picture of economic well-being in the United States: the official poverty measure and the SPM. In 2021, the official poverty rate was not statistically different from 2020. The SPM rate for 2021, however, was 1.4 percentage points lower.

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The difference in estimates shows how taxes and non-monetary government programs can help lift more people out of poverty.

The official measure of poverty defines resources as money income before taxes, which includes sources of income such as wages and social security programs such as Social Security [PDF], Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and unemployment benefits.

SPM expands this definition to include income and payroll taxes, tax credits, stimulus payments, other non-cash government benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and housing subsidies. Necessary expenses such as child support, work, childcare and medical expenses are deductible.

As a result, it is possible to estimate the effect of government programs on each of the measures and compare how different benefits affect poverty rates.

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The impact of these programs on the number of people in poverty in 2021 varies (Figure 1). Both measures are sampled from consistent universes that include unrelated individuals under the age of 15.

When focusing solely on income before taxes and transfers before social security programs such as Social Security, 63.7 million people were in poverty according to the official poverty measure. But according to the SPM, 64.5 million people were in poverty.

This comparison shows the effect of a broader family definition of SPM and poverty lines that vary geographically. This infographic provides full details on the differences between the measurements.

When Social Security, SSI, and other social security programs are added to family resources, the number of people lifted out of poverty using the SPM and official poverty measures is not statistically different: about 25.6 million fewer people were in poverty using the SPM and 25 .7 million less were in poverty according to the official poverty measure. This would reduce the poverty numbers to 38.9 million and 38.0 million for SPM and official poverty, respectively.

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However, when the value of non-cash benefits, taxes and tax credits is added to assets measured by the SPM, the number of poor is halved to 19.1 million.

In 2019, government assistance helped lift 23.4 million people out of official poverty and 31.5 million people out of SPM poverty.

In 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, public assistance lifted 29.6 million people out of official poverty, 6.2 million more than in 2019. This reflects the expansion of unemployment benefits in response to the 2020 recession. Number of people left out. of official poverty on state aid reduced to 25.7 million by 2021.

The SPM captured the additional effect of stimulus payments, refundable tax credits and expanded school lunches, and the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program.

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With SPM, 46.0 million people moved out of poverty in 2020, an increase of 14.5 million people compared to the previous year. The

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