Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on June 10, 1998 · Page 12
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 12

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Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, June 10, 1998
Page:
Page 12
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B-2 — WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10, 1998 Life in the '90s THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL, Study: Cleaner, healthier habits may not trim poor's death rate By MIKE ROBINSON Associated Press Writer CHICAGO — More exercise, less eating and no smoking or drinking. While all are considered hallmarks of good health, a new study suggests that none do much to trim the death rate of America's poor. The poor have a death rate as much as three times higher than that of others. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, smoking, drinking alcohol, overeating and lack of exercise cause no more than 13 percent of the gap. "For a long time, we've been focusing on trying to reduce risky health behaviors, such as smoking, drinking and being physically inactive," said Paula Lantz, the study's author and a professor of public health at the University of Michigan. "That's an important goal, but it won't fully close the gap between poor people and other people." More important causes, experts say, may include lack of medical care, the stress of being poor, dangerous jobs and polluted homes and neighborhoods. Beginning in 1986, the 7 I/2-year survey looked at 3,617 Americans and their living habits. It took into account all kinds of deaths, from cancer to gun battles with the police. The biggest killers were heart disease and cancer. Dr. Redford Williams, chief of behavioral medicine at Duke University, said in an accompanying editorial that the research is convincing. "These findings indicate the need to broaden the search" for the real causes behind the higher death rate, he said. He pointed, for example, to "the harsh and adverse environment in which poorer people live." Bruce Link, an associate professor of public health at Columbia University, agreed: "People with more resources, more knowledge, more money, better access to health care, tend to capitalize on that." The study said government reports and newspaper opinion-page pieces assume smoking, drink- Poverty in young families Children with parents under age 30 are more likely to be impoverished. The poverty rate for these children has more than doubled since 1973. SOURCES US Census. Children's Defense Fund RATES BY HEAD OF FAMILY * There are increasingly more dngte-partht families with lower incomes than . . two-parent families. i Wages for workers with less education have have dropped. KRT Infographlcs ing, overeating and lack of exercise are to blame for high death rates among the poor. The survey did find that poor Americans tend to smoke and overeat more and be less active, though they were not the heaviest drinkers. It found that those with an annual income below $10,000 had a death rate 3.22 times that of people making $30,000 or more. After researchers subtracted the effects of smoking, drinking, overeating and lack of exercise, the death rate among the poor was still 2.77 times higher. Americans making between $10,000 and $29,000 had a death rate 2.34 times that of those in the $30,000-plus group. After researchers subtracted the harmful habits, that group's death rate still was 2.14 times that of those in the higher bracket. According to the study, 59.9 percent of those in the low-income group didn't drink at all, compared with 46 percent in the $10,000-to-$29,999 group and 31.3 percent of those earning $30,000 or more. The study was funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of Princeton, N.J. T R A T E G I E S the ocean In all environments • Stay within designated swimming areas. • Check surf conditions , and look for warning flags.? before entering wfitdf. • iMffl to swim. Learn your limits and stay within them. <- • Stay away from pers, pilings, diving platforrHs,, • Don't try to swltf) against a current; swirn across It to get out » • Make sure ybu always rtave.enouh energy to Ing ismeflpf'^ .Ws*psn fcadirif cause of acclclentfif I'&Atftttttffftta* WaHnnal"! For more Information: ; Call local Red Cross ! chapter • Next week: ! Consumer safety tips ftfcthia Rational asyoussedrli storm. Water cor) electricity. K.C. Meadows Editor Ukiah Daily Journal Meet the editor Ukiah Daily Journal Editor K.C. Meadows wants to meet you. Head down to Schat's Courthouse Bakery 113 W. Perkins Street Thursday morning at 7 a.m. to discuss current events, give her story ideas, respond to stories you've read in the Daily Journal, or just chat. Groups of local residents have had rousing conversati^ about education, transportation, child rearing, supervisors' salaries and more. Join in! Check out the ON THE ROAD classifieds for all the best automotive (Jeals! KRT Infographlcs/QUIN TIAN- How to keep your baby safe in water Associated Press No matter how much your little one nags or whines, you'd never let her wade into the ocean before you check the undertow. But even though your guard is up, many parents unwittingly take major risks around pools, beaches and boats. "Water is deceiving," says Heather Paul, Ph.D., executive director of the National Safe Kids Campaign in Washington, D.C. "Children are attracted to it in a way that they're not to other potential dangers. They don't look at a fire and say 'Let's just put our foot in.'" Children ages 4 and under die in pool-related accidents 14 times more frequently than they do in accidents involving motor vehicles. It's estimated that 1,000 children drown every year, 4,000 are hospitalized for near-drowning, and another 16,000 are treated in emergency rooms. Protect your kids with these smart strategies: Be a control freak about your home pool. While: cleaning up the pool area is the last thing you want to do on a summer afternoon, being lazy could be' treacherous if you've got young kids, warns Dr. Paul. "You've got to move patio furniture or toys away from the side of pool fencing, as children can use these to climb over when you're not watcrf^: ing," she says. ''"•' According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, pools should be enclosed with a four-sided fence that is at least 5 feet high and has vertical slats spaced no more than 3 1/2 inches apart. Gates- should have self-closing locks and swing shut ofj their own. To add another layer of protection, consider a pool alarm — either a motion-detecting device that emits a shrill noise when someone crosses See WATER, Page B-8 § *1 99 S»? Hamid I MaiMrtrtc «*5S ••'HSBBki&^n"* 2 *^i«-*fiP5 s 0 in^^rCT "JOUR 9 °® v,™ rt ,«swWbegiv 6 n»^"^ onh8IK e. 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