Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Poverty is making us sick" - University of Toronto study

Mental and behavioural disorders are conditions strongly associated with low income (and poverty) in Canada.

Mental and behavioural disorders

Mental and behavioural disorders include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, Alzheimer’s or
dementia and schizophrenia. As group they relate closely to income, falling from a high of 146
per thousand in the bottom quintile to 64 in the highest, with most quintiles significantly
different from the adjacent quintiles. There is a highly significant drop in incidence as we go
from the bottom to the second quintile and from the fourth to the top quintile as well, reflecting
greatest incidence among the poorest Canadians with the wealthiest quintile least affected
Anxiety and mood disorders, the two specific conditions for which incidence rates could be
reliably calculated,xvi showed clear relationships with income. In each case there is a significant
drop in incidence with movement from the bottom to the second quintile.
In the case of anxiety the rate in the bottom quintile (81 per thousand) is significantly higher than
the rate in the next quintile (44 per thousand population), and indeed, significantly higher than in
all other quintiles.
Mood disorders are found at a rate of 105 per thousand in the lowest income quintile, a rate over
60 per cent higher than the 64 per thousand rate found in the second quintile. Similarly, the rate
in the second quintile is significantly higher than the rate in the third and fourth quintiles, and the
rate of 39 per thousand in the highest quintile is significantly lower than the rates of 54-55 found
in the third and fourth quintiles.