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July 6, 2009

Poorer HealthThe Persistent and Protean Connections Between Poverty, Social Inequality, and Child Well-being

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009;163(7):668-670. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.118

Poverty is bad for children. This unassailable reality is hardly a news flash: beginning in the early 1800s with the studies by Louis-René Villermé in France and William Farr in England, investigations have firmly established the strong connection between poverty and the overall population mortality rate and, more dramatically, infant mortality rates.13 New evidence accumulated during the past several decades has refined our understanding, showing not only the association between an individual child's absolute or relative exposure to poverty and a greater risk of myriad diseases and conditions but also a similar association between ill health and the degree of nonuniform distribution of income across an entire population or society.4,5

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