Primary care combats poverty

Pharmaceutical Representative

Primary care appears to offset the negative health effects of poverty, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Primary care appears to offset the negative health effects of poverty, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

In a study that appeared in the April issue of The Journal of Family Practice, the researchers found that primary care physicians who establish long-term personal relationships with patients, and coordinate their care, can protect poorer patients from some serious health effects of poverty.

The researchers at Johns Hopkins studied health data from the Census Bureau, the American Public Health Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including median household income, levels of education, health insurance, minority status, degree of poverty, cigarette smoking and specialist physician-to-patient ratios.

They found that individuals who had a primary care physician demonstrated a significantly lower likelihood in the categories of total mortality, death rates due to stroke and post-neonatal mortality. They also demonstrated a longer life expectancy. PR