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The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing…
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The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity

by Michael Marmot

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Michael Marmot makes the case that health is on a gradient and the lower one's social standing the worse one's health--not so much because of the lack of money itself as because of the lack of control over one's life and the inability to fully participate in the activities of life that bring joy and are health promoting. This book is the end result of years of research (The Whitehall 1 and 11 studies) and it shows. I found it really interesting and it has definitely caused me to look at the whole issue of poverty and health in a different way. And, while it deals with some depressing stats, this is ultimately a hopeful book, because it shows that by making policy changes and starting programs that lessen inequality we can improve the health of entire societies. ( )
  sumariotter | Nov 2, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805078541, Paperback)

"Bold, important and masterful . . . Marmot's message is not just timely, it's urgent."
-The Washington Post Book World

You probably didn't realize that when you graduate from college you increase your lifespan, or that your co-worker who has a slightly better job is more likely to live a healthier life. In this groundbreaking book, epidemiologist Michael Marmot marshals evidence from nearly thirty years of research to demonstrate that status is not a footnote to the causes of ill health-it is the cause. He calls this effect the status syndrome.

The status syndrome is pervasive. It determines the chances that you will succumb to heart disease, stroke, cancers, infectious diseases, even suicide and homicide. And the issue, as Marmot shows, is not simply one of income or lifestyle. It is the psychological experience of inequality-how much control you have over your life and the opportunities you have for full social participation-that has a profound effect on your health.

The Status Syndrome will utterly change the way we think about health, society, and how we live our lives.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:24 -0400)

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"In this book, Michael Marmot, an internationally renowned epidemiologist, marshals evidence from around the world and from nearly thirty years of his own research to demonstrate the importance of status in our health, well-being, and longevity. For years we have focused merely on how advances in technology and genetics can extend our lives and cure disease. But, Marmot argues, we are looking at the issue backwards. In the past, we have viewed social inequalities as a footnote to the real causes of ill-health; in fact, they are a major cause. He calls this effect the "status syndrome."" "The status syndrome is pervasive. It determines the chances that you will succumb to heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, infectious diseases, even suicide and homicide. And the issue, as Marmot shows, is not simply one of income. Nor is it a case of differences in lifestyle - the likelihood that you are a smoker, or that you eat a high-cholesterol cheeseburger every day. It is the psychological experience of inequality - how much control you have over your life and the opportunities you have for full social participation - that has a profound effect on your health." "For instance, by investing in early child development and the education system, we can give children a better chance of improving their status and thus their health as adults. By creating secure jobs that give employees some control over the way they manage their careers and reward them for their efforts, we can diminish the social inequalities and health risks of the workplace. By providing older people, and communities in general, with support systems that increase social contact, we can improve health as well. While these are not the usual routes to curing disease, Marmot shows that they are critical ones."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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