Book of the Month - The Death Gap: How Inequality Kills

Book of the Month - The Death Gap: How Inequality Kills

The Death Gap: How Inequality Kills

In the first installment of our monthly book review we introduce you to a thought provoking piece by Dr. David Ansell, MD. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the wide inequalities this nation faces. As The Death Gap opens, Dr. Ansell delves deep into the discussion of inequalities that affect our health.

“We all die. But tens of thousands of Americans die too early. These early deaths are not random events. These deaths strike particular individuals who live in particular American neighborhoods. And while we know that people die of cancer, heart disease, and so on, this killer isn’t one that we can treat with drugs, therapy or surgery. This killer is inequality.”

What follows is a comprehensive discussion on the inequalities faced within the different constructs of the social determinants of health and how it impacts longevity. In order to keep up with the discussion, Dr. Ansell draws from observations and from the stories of his patients in Chicago. Some examples Dr. Ansell provides are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Such as the story of Windora Bradley, a patient and close friend to Dr. Ansell (along with other family members), his experience providing medical relief in Haiti after the earthquake that struck in 2010 or the story of Elfego Alvarez, an individual who was turned down after seeking medical attention despite having amyloidosis and needing a liver transplant to live. With the help of these stories and descriptive statistics, Dr. Ansell steers the conversation away from what people usually attribute health and life expectancy differences – beliefs, behaviors and biology.

Whether you’re new to Public Health or a health professional, The Death Gap has something to offer. As we continue to advocate for our comunidad, this book provides a framework for recognizing and understanding the importance of past events and history in shaping our present and future.

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