Emotional and physical toll of being poor

The University of Michigan News Service 412 Maynard Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1399 October 26, 1999 (25) Contact: Amy Reyes Phone: (734) 647-4411 E-mail: amelynr@umich.edu http://www.umich.edu/~newsinfo/Releases/1999/Oct99/r102699b.html NIH funds a new U-M health research center that will focus on the emotional and physical toll of being poor. ANN ARBOR---Social inequalities have been identified by public health advocates as one of the most pressing public health issues in this country. It is widely believed that they are a key cause of physical and mental health problems. A new University of Michigan research center, funded by a $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will allow U-M researchers to delve deeper into research on the detrimental health effects of being poor. "For the first time, we will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers who will present evidence that demonstrates consistent and strong associations between socio-economic status, psycho-social states and physical and mental health. By concentrating on the role of economic factors, neighborhood characteristics and the biology of stress within a birth to old age framework, we hope to make a quantum leap in understanding inequalities in health and what can be done to reduce them," said George A. Kaplan, professor and chair of the U-M School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology. Kaplan, who has published more than 150 papers on this and related issues, will head the new research center called the Michigan Interdisciplinary Center on Social Inequalities, Mind and Body. Kaplan is also director of the Michigan Initiative on Inequalities in Health, a universitywide network of researchers who specialize in inequalities in health issues. The Mind-Body research center will bring together researchers from public health, sociology, education, social work, public policy, medicine, psychology and economics. The U-M center's six

Contact: Amy Reyes
University of Michigan

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