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The disparities in health between the rich and poor are so striking, and the results so dire, that reducing the gap is an ethical imperative.

A strong and consistent finding of epidemiological research is that socioeconomic status (SES) is correlated with morbidity, mortality, and functioning. SES is a complex combination of income, education, and occupation. Theorists posit that material disadvantage, diminished control over life's circumstances, and lack of social acceptance all contribute to poor health outcomes. The relationship between SES and health often is referred to as a "gradient" because of the graded and continuous nature of the association; health differences are observed well into the middle ranges of SES. These empirical findings have persisted across time and cultures and remain viable today.

Publication Citation

15 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y 571 (2008)