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Bexar County Health Report details how economic factors affect health

SAINT ANTHONY – The existing health disparities in Bexar County are clear, according to a new report.

People living on the North Side have better access to health care compared to the West and East Sides.

Now, community leaders are reviewing the 2022 Bexar Community Health Needs Assessment Report from the Bexar County Health Collaborative.

Deputy Director of San Antonio Metro Health Dr. Anita Kurian is one of many community health leaders reviewing the BCHC report. It describes how economic and educational disparities relate to health issues.

“I think all of us need to look at improving upstream factors and that starts with our social, economic, social determinants of health,” said Dr. Kurian said.

The darker areas on the map below have higher reports of Covid-19.

The health cooperative reported that southern zip codes have a higher concentration of confirmed covid-19-related illnesses.

Reported COVID-19 cases in every zip code across Bexar County in April 2022. (Provided by Metro Health)

“Your life expectancy is not determined by your genetics or your race-ethnicity. It is according to the postal codes where you live,” said Dr. Kurian said.

Compare this to the areas where most people have health insurance, the dark areas turn. The north is darker because more people are insured.

Insured populations across Bexar County. (Provided by Metro Health)

“These health disparities exist. We knew it did. You know, COVID made it worse,” Dr. Kurian said.

The report also shows how education levels can affect health.

Covid-19 cases and high school education zip code correlation. (Provided by Metro Health)

Zip codes with a higher percentage of people who did not complete high school also had higher rates of covid-19 cases, data show.

Dr. Kurian said people with less education are employed by companies with limited work-from-home options or limited paid time off, leading to worse infection.

“Not that they wanted to, but they couldn’t afford to take time off. It is therefore very important that we as a community take a serious look at the paid sick leave policies in all workplaces,” said Dr. Kurian said.

The full report can be found here.

Plus, now is the time to sign up for insurance. Enroll SA is a non-profit organization that provides bilingual experts who can help people find an affordable plan.

Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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