In comparison to the rest of the world, the longevity of U.S. citizens ranks 35th, and is getting worse. Infant mortality in the US is worse than that of most of the rest of the developed countries of the world, and several undeveloped countries. Stress on people in lower economic sectors, including certain racial groups in this country, seems to be a causal factor in the increased incidence of low-birthweight babies, as well as many other health outcomes. Recent scientific national and international studies have shown that stress caused by economic and racial factors has a greater and more subtle effect on health than previously understood.
Studies of health have clearly shown that poverty severely affects health, as does the huge income gap in this country. There are also health outcomes that depend on a person’s position on a hierarchy of income. There is a sliding scale of health problems with those at the top being healthiest, and health decreasing as earnings go down.
There are many questions we hope to ask in a League study we are proposing. We need to gather a mass of statistical and other evidence from county and state agencies and health care facilities. We have a tentative goal of producing a position statement for Snohomish County as a result of our findings. This may lead to support of legislation that would be beneficial to the health of our citizens