A Link Between Poverty and Health Issues
ELMIRA, NY (WENY) -- A new report released by a local non-profit says there's a link between poverty and health within the City of Elmira. Their recent study takes a closer look not only at Elmira, but the Finger Lakes Region. This presentation was hosted by the Elmira Rotary Club to discuss the connection between poverty and health.
"The health impact assessment was an opportunity to really look at the housing conditions in the 14901 and document the link between housing, health conditions, and see if there were any opportunities to address health improvement through housing," Wade Norwood, Chief Executive Officer of Common Ground Health.
The study looked at people who die before the age of 75 and Elmira's 14901 zipcode which ranks among the highest among other zip codes for the amount of "years lost" for people in the Finger Lakes Region.
The city of Elmira has an estimated population of about 28 thousand residents. Out of that, 31% of residents have income below the federal poverty level. According to this study there is a correlation between poverty and various respiratory concerns.
Norwood says, "What the study found is there's a real important opportunity for health improvement by addressing the lead safety issue within housing in the community. So, by improving the housing, making it lead safe we can improve health and outcomes for children."
The study blames housing conditions as a possible reason behind this.\
"What we really are finding is the way in which housing conditions like, mold, mildew, peeling paint contribute to health issues like elevated lead blood levels and asthma and C.O.P.D so there are real opportunities by improving housing to improve health and save costs."
Norwood says you can make a difference, he says you should get your home tested for lead and get your regular doctor checkups.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," Wade Norwood.