Study finds women from low-income families are less likely to seek medical care

In fact, one in ten has never experienced health problems such as blood pressure or cervical cancer, compared to five per cent of those who live in a family that earns more than £40,000 a year.

And the 15 percent of the underpaid who do not accept preventive treatment offers say they don’t need it.

They are also the least able to speak to and understand health professionals (72 percent compared to 81 percent of high-income households) and the most unsure of where they can access health information (79 percent compared to 89 percent of high-income households) . household income).

And while 75% feel informed about what is needed for health, this rises to 88% in high-income households.

It also found that 30 percent of low-income people who experience day-to-day problems such as joint pain, back pain or headaches have stopped working entirely as a result, compared to 10 percent of high-income households.

The study was commissioned by Hologic, a women’s health innovator that also launched the second year of its Global Women’s Health Index in partnership with analytics firm Gallup.

It aims to capture women’s experiences when it comes to health, including prevention, basic needs, opinions on health and safety, individual health and emotional health, to help fill a critical gap in what the world knows about women’s health and well-being. and girls all over the world.

The index assigns a score of women’s health (from 1 to 100) to each of 122 countries and territories, with a global average score of just 53, with no country or territory scoring more than 70.

In 2021, the UK’s overall score has fallen by three points and is now 60 points out of 100.

Tim Simpson, general manager of Hologic UK & Ireland, said: “Your wealth should not affect your access to diagnosis and treatment, but new research shows it does.

“Women are the cornerstone of the family, society and economy and more needs to be done to tackle the severe health inequities they face across the UK.”

An additional OnePoll survey of women’s health in the UK also found that those who live in low-income households are the least likely to see their GP if they have a health problem (40% compared to 46% high income households). .

In fact, two-thirds of all women surveyed now suffer from some form of physical illness, but those ailments are more likely to affect those with lower household incomes.

Almost a quarter (24 percent) of women from low-income households suffering from health problems are forced to change social plans due to their problems.

Others said it affected their friendships (20 percent) as well as relationships with family (19 percent).

Diseases that are more likely to affect low-income households than women from high-income households include mental disorders (32 percent versus 26 percent), digestive problems (11 percent versus nine percent), and cancer (seven percent versus five percent).

The study also found that nearly a quarter (24 percent) of people with health problems in low-income households cannot afford exercise, such as a gym membership or use of swimming pools.

And 21% don’t have enough money to cover the cost of nutritious food, and 13% can’t even afford time off from work to visit health facilities.

In addition, 35 percent of these women feel lonely, more than women in higher-income households (31 percent).

Tim Simpson of Hologic added: “We are more convinced than ever of the importance of preventive care and it should be a key ingredient to better support women’s health.

“In times of economic uncertainty for many people, we must consider the barriers women face to ensure that all women have equal access to treatment and care to keep them healthy.

“Through our Global Women’s Health Index, we will continue to measure the health of women in the UK and around the world so that we can address the health inequities faced by many and bring about urgent change.”

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