ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Children from low-income families are much more likely than others to suffer from serious infections such as herpes or hepatitis A, U.S. researchers said.
Two University of Michigan studies show a startlingly strong correlation between income and chronic infection in both adults and children, with lower income populations suffering much higher rates of chronic infections and clusters of infections than higher income families, researchers said.
"There is a large body of research showing that people of lower socioeconomic status are at greater risk for numerous chronic diseases," senior author Allison Aiello said in a statement. "In this study, we found that lower income populations are also more likely to be exposed to a cluster of persistent infections."
For example, in the context of six infections measured, results showed that while the higher income populations might have been exposed to one or two of these common infections, lower income populations in the same age range may have been exposed to as many as four or five.
This is a concern because most of these persistent infections are carried throughout life and have been implicated in several chronic diseases, Aiello said.
The study also found that people without a high school education had roughly 50 percent higher odds of having an additional infection compared to those with a degree.