Low-income communities have high rates of intestinal infections: Study

High poverty rates and environmental factors contribute to the rates of intestinal infections, and a recent study found low-income neighborhoods are infected at high rates where sewage systems are in disrepair, The Conversation reported May 19.

The Rural Embodiment and Community Health Study launched in 2019 to measure current infection rates and determine which living conditions contributed. 

"Current federal investment in community infrastructure — including water quality — is encouraging but does not go far enough," the report said. "Ultimately, a concentrated nationwide effort to update and maintain sanitation systems is the best way to finally halt infection transmission and support health equity across the U.S."

The study found 38 percent of children in predominantly Black communities in the Mississippi Delta had intestinal parasitic infections in 2019, and 80 percent of those children exhibited high levels of intestinal inflammation.

A 2022 analysis of adults in the Mississippi Delta and Southwestern Illinois found 73 percent of adults displayed elevated intestinal inflammation while 45 percent were infected with Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that can cause ulcers and cancer.

"This country's neglect of wastewater infrastructure in majority Black communities, both urban and rural, is resulting in a hygienic hell for far too many people, a hell that climate change is only making worse," Catherine Coleman Flowers, founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice, said in a March interview in The Lowndes Signal.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars