Presentation on theme: "The Biology of Poverty Dr Harry Burns is the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland. He believes that there are clear links between poverty and health He has."— Presentation transcript:
The Biology of Poverty Dr Harry Burns is the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland. He believes that there are clear links between poverty and health He has studied why poorer people, particularly in the west of Scotland, since the 1950s suffer from worse health than richer people.
Why? Difficult social circumstances, especially in the early years, have a dramatic effect on the body. A child brought up in a chaotic environment - parents with drug or alcohol issues, instability of care, poor housing will be in an aggressive environment when they should be getting nurtured and loved. This environment has a biological response – the increase in stress levels impact on the whole body. The childs brain at an early stage will be underdeveloped which leads to weaker defence mechanisms.
The sick man of Europe This explains why heart disease, cancers and strokes are more likely to be found in the west of Scotland. Dr Burns notes that up until the 1950s Scotlands health was no worse than most European countries.