Friday, February 3, 2023

Socioeconomic, educational level and gender disparity factors in care for chronic diseases

Low-income populations, mainly indigenous people and women, are most vulnerable to suffering from chronic diseases. Its prevalence increases in groups without access to public health services (currently close to 54% of the population); Those who do not have the possibility to prevent and treat diabetes and other related diseases in a timely manner. In just one decade, between 2010 and 2020, the number of diabetes deaths in Indigenous communities increased by 139%.

The high incidence of chronic diseases in Mexico poses one of the biggest challenges to the health system. In 2019, these diseases caused approximately 597,648 deaths and currently, close to half of the Mexican adult population has hypertension, 14% diabetes, 15% kidney disease and 56% metabolic syndrome; Which refers to a group of cardiometabolic risk factors that include abdominal obesity, high blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as high blood pressure.

El Poder del Consumidor, together with the Training Center in Ecology and Health for Farmers and Defenders of the Right to Health (CCESC-DDS), presents data related to the various inequalities and their impact on chronic diseases faced by certain groups of the population did. Mexican.

Between 2010 and 2020, a 139% increase in diabetes deaths was reported in areas with a high percentage of Indigenous populations.

The southern regions of the country, especially rural areas with the largest indigenous populations, have a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome (58%) than the national figure (56%). Similarly, the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guerrero showed greater vulnerability to the presence of chronic diseases.

54% of the Mexican population has a basic level of education or less and 56% are located in the low and very low socioeconomic levels. Lower socioeconomic and educational levels are associated with higher prevalence and lower control of hypertension, as well as ignorance of having diabetes.

According to the National Survey of Nutrition and Health (ENSANU2021), about 54% of the population does not have any entitlement. This means, on the one hand, chronic diseases not being treated on time and on the other, a huge out-of-pocket expense for families.

Consumed calorie counts increased between 1984 and 2016 in the southern region of Mexico and lower socioeconomic levels, with the introduction of ultra-processed products. Similarly, southern regions and lower health indices have been linked to higher consumption of sweetened beverages.

About 55% of Mexico’s population has some form of food insecurity; This is more severe for those with lower educational levels and welfare indices. This last level of insecurity is associated with overweight and obesity.

The prevalence of diabetes and kidney disease is higher among women (53% and 20.8%, respectively) than men (47% and 8.5%). However, it turns out that men with diabetes die at a younger age.

In this regard, food health researcher Jorge Vargas in El Poder de Consumidor commented: “It is commonly referenced that chronic diseases, such as access to ultra-processed products, are higher among populations with more resources, or higher We find that a greater percentage of the population has developed these diseases, however, in the lower strata of the socioeconomic stratum, as well as in urban areas, there is also an increase in the consumption of ultra-processed foods. The focus allows us to demonstrate that there is a greater disadvantage in this population, as they may be poorer and, in turn, more likely to suffer from complications; which makes them more vulnerable. “

Social inequality also determines the differential effects of high consumption of ultra-processed beverages. The distortion of household budgets for food purchases is disproportionately high and the effect is often a displacement of the consumption of healthier foods.

Given the advertising of products intended for complementary feeding and the lack of adequate information from the health sector, mothers mistakenly believe that these products are suitable for infant feeding, as is the case with processed juices.

“Images of fruits and legends about vitamins motivate mothers to give these products to their babies. Health sector messages and actions to promote exclusive breastfeeding and its benefits are concentrated in high-income populations. CCESC -There is no systematic action to discourage the consumption of ultra-processed beverages in children under the age of two, for popular regions and especially for native language-speaking populations, said Marco Arana, director of the DDS.

Recognizing economic and social disparities makes it possible to guide interventions, monitor equity and, in turn, advance the understanding of health with a focus on greater protection of vulnerable populations.

These disparities represent a gap in health, so it is necessary to implement actions that take into account the social conditions currently compromised: educational and socioeconomic level, indigenous origin, and mortality from chronic diseases. high number. The states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guerrero are the constituencies that found a close relationship between vulnerability status and the presence of chronic diseases.

He made a strong call to strengthen efficiency in health care services as well as eliminate access barriers. A significant number of the Mexican population is vulnerable and this, along with a lack of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of complications from chronic diseases, translates into poverty for the most disadvantaged families.

They also pointed out that it is essential to protect vulnerable populations from obesogenic environments through the implementation of all recommended policies to reduce the consumption of ultra-processed products and sweetened beverages, thus preventing various chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. contributes to. Disease.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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