Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; Journal
Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia Campus,
Virginia Commonwealth University.
According to the World Health Organization, nearly half of all deaths
in the developing world are due to infectious diseases, in great contrast
to mortality patterns in wealthy countries.1 The
explanation for this disparity seems obvious: prevention and treatment of
infectious diseases require economic resources lacking where poverty prevails.
But economist Jeffrey Sachs sees the relationship of poverty to health as
a two-way street. Economic growth out of poverty also requires resources—specifically,
healthy people. Thus, alleviating poverty and improving public health are
reciprocal endeavors, and to achieve one requires simultaneous investment
in the other.
Bonds MH, Nachbahr MA. Poverty. JAMA. 2005;294(12):1558. doi:10.1001/jama.294.12.1558-a