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Study: Child health may suffer in strong economy
Date:3/24/2010

link an economic uptick with poorer health. Several recent studies of the U.S. and other wealthy nations have found that health declines when the economy spikes and improves during recessions. But Miller and Urdinola didn't necessarily expect that this would also be true in a developing nation like Colombia.

"In wealthy nations there tends to be more social safety net programs and more access to insurance and credit to help people get through bad economic periods," Miller says. "Developing nations may lack some of those safeguards, so there is reason to suspect that health would decline when the economy does in places like rural Colombia. So our main finding was somewhat surprising to me."

The good news, Miller and Urdinola say, is that the study shows that good health may be possible even in countries that lag behind in economic growth.

"Long-term growth may improve health, but in the shorter-term, good health doesn't necessarily have to require a lot of wealth," he said. "Healthy but poor may be an attainable state of the world, even if it isn't as good as healthy and rich."


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Contact: Kevin Stacey
kstacey@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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