Can nurses reduce health inequality?

(NursingTimes.com) Can nurses reduce health inequality?  Two recent studies have highlighted persistent problems with health inequalities in the UK.

A study presented at the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) conference identified that patients with bowel cancer living in the most deprived areas are 24% less likely to survive than more affluent patients. The researchers found that 9.6% of the most deprived patients died within 30 days of having surgery compared with 4.2% in the most affluent group. Patients living in poorer areas are more likely to die within five years of treatment.

In a second study researchers from University College London found poor people are more likely to die from heart disease than their rich counterparts.

Even though there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD) in England, the improvement rates differ between the affluent and the deprived. Between 2000 and 2007, mortality rates among affluent people fell by 6.7% each year compared with 4.9% for those from the most deprived areas.

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