The morbidity of rich and poor

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 18 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:0

Which of the following populations would you expect to have the highest self reported morbidity? The people of rural Bihar, the poorest of Indian states; the people of rural Kerala, the Indian state which by a long margin has the highest life expectancy; or the Americans? You will by now have smelt a rat, reflected on the question, and will answer, “the Americans.” You are right, but you may be surprised by the margin: Americans report about 150 active conditions a year for every 100 people, the people of Kerala about 100, and …

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