AITHM James Cook University

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Research published by Dr Emily Callander demonstrated that developing chronic disease makes you more likely to fall into income poverty. Utilising five years of data, gathered from 3,754 people across Australia, the study found that people who developed arthritis had an elevated risk of income poverty and an even greater risk of multidimensional poverty.

The purpose of this research was to examine the inverse of social determinants of health. Studying the living standards of people experiencing chronic disease is important, especially with conditions such as arthritis, as it is generally associated with morbidity rather than mortality and so the impact on people is best captured through the effect it has on their quality of life, which in this instance is particularly profound.

“As arthritis is an extremely common condition, especially in the elderly, it is likely an overlooked driver of poverty and that’s an important area of research to dedicate more attention to.” Dr Emily Callander.