Pernicious Anemia Case Analysis Sample Essay

Abstract

The cardiac, digestive, and immune systems are all highly interconnected systems that communicate with one another through cytokines, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Many physical or psychological stresses may disrupt their equilibrium, resulting in inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, tissue damage, and other problems. Here, we study and evaluate Teri’s case systems to comprehend their independence and collaboration in keeping her body functioning effectively. This research will look at how this information affects overall physiological health, especially the composition and function of hematocrit, antibodies, and immunoglobulins, all of which are important immune and cardiovascular systems components. It will also highlight the need for a multidisciplinary approach to health care, in which medical specialists collaborate to address complex health conditions caused by imbalances in several physiological systems. ALL bodily systems interact with one another in big and little ways for our bodies to function and thrive. Nobody can live without others. Moreover, the body cannot function without one of the systems and their critical linkages.

Pernicious Anemia Case Analysis

Many health issues and diseases occur when the cardiovascular, immune, and digestive systems fail because they are key organ systems that work together to keep the body healthy. Teri’s predicament exemplifies the complicated interaction of various systems in protecting the body’s overall health. This article investigates the relationships between these systems and how they influence Teri’s health in light of her diagnosis of pernicious anemia. We also investigate the roles of hematocrit, antibodies, and immunoglobulins in maintaining normal body processes. This article’s fundamental argument is the need for a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare, in which healthcare experts collaborate to tackle complex health problems caused by imbalances in various physiological systems.

Teri Is Deficient in Which Substance as A Result of the Destruction of the Parietal Cell?

Teri’s missing chemicals in her body due to degradation must be identified to treat her and care for her sickness. In her instance of pernicious anemia, or the loss of parietal cells in the stomach, she is deficient in a critical chemical essential for overall bodily health. Pernicious anemia is a kind of megaloblastic anemia caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12 (cobalamin). DNA synthesis requires vitamin B12 (Vit.B12). Vitamin B12 is absorbed in the terminal ileum in conjunction with the intrinsic factor, which is secreted by parietal cells in the stomach. Intrinsic factor antibodies in PA obstruct ileum vitamin B12 absorption by inhibiting intrinsic factor binding to vitamin B12 (Murphy et al., 2015). PA also includes antibodies against parietal cells, which have been linked to atrophic gastritis. Autoimmune atrophic gastritis is caused by an autoimmune response involving parietal cell antibodies.

As a result, parietal cells, which border the stomach, generate hydrochloric acid (HCl) and intrinsic factor (IF). Although IF necessitates vitamin B12 absorption in the small intestine, the primary function of HCl is to lower the stomach’s pH to help digestion (Murphy et al., 2015). Parietal cell antibodies destroy parietal cells, lowering the intrinsic factor produced by parietal cells. Because of this deficiency, vitamin B12 is malabsorbed, lowering the amount of vitamin B12 in circulation. Vitamin B12 is required for both red blood cell production and the proper functioning of the nervous system. A shortage of vitamin B12 may cause megaloblastic anemia since the body cannot produce healthy red blood cells without it (Sun et al., 2012). This kind of anemia is characterized by large, light red blood cells incapable of delivering oxygen effectively. Additionally, a lack of vitamin B12 may impair the nerve system, resulting in symptoms such as tingling in the hands and feet, muscular weakness, and difficulty walking.

Is There a Link Between Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Parietal Cell Destruction?

Pernicious anemia develops when the body is deficient in vitamin B12. This vitamin is only needed in trace amounts by the body, although it is essential. Vitamin B12 is available in many meals, but its absorption requires a second molecule made by the stomach. This second component is referred to as the intrinsic factor. As the stomach lining atrophies (degrades), it no longer produces intrinsic factors and hydrochloric acid (Murphy et al., 2015). An alteration that happens with age is the atrophy of the stomach lining.

Vitamin B12 is stored in the body. This shop may endure for years since it is required to produce red blood cells (RBCs) and properly function the brain and nerve system. Anemia develops when this is finally exhausted. Unlike other types of anemia, pernicious anemia does not need blood loss or an iron deficit. As a result, when parietal cells die, as occurs in pernicious anemia (Sun et al., 2012), there is insufficient IF. Since the body cannot absorb vitamin B12 without IF, there is less in the blood. This insufficiency might lead to anemia and decreased red blood cell formation over time (RBCs).

Teri Is Deficient in Pepsin as A Result of Her Condition. Please Explain Why.

Parietal cells in the stomach lining release hydrochloric acid, which lowers the stomach’s pH. Pepsin is activated by a low pH (1.5 to 2). Acetylcholine, gastrin, and histamine activate the proton pump in parietal cells, releasing hydrogen ions and causing the pH to fall. For protein digestion, pepsin requires an acidic environment. As a result, it works best at pH levels ranging from 1.5 to 2. Pepsinogen may cleave itself and create active pepsin when the pH is low. As it reaches the duodenum, however, it becomes inactive when the pH climbs over 6. (Dutta & Dr. Sanchari, 2018).

Nevertheless, protein digestion continues in the small intestines due to the actions of pancreatic enzymes such as trypsin, chymotrypsin, elastase, and carboxypeptidase. As a result, pepsin is not required for life, and protein digestion may still proceed without pepsin. It is worth noting that pepsin stays structurally stable until at least an 8; therefore, it can always be reactivated if the pH remains below 8, explaining why Teri’s predicament is still curable.

Producing HCl and intrinsic factors reduce pernicious anemia caused by parietal cell autoimmune death. The less acidic environment in the stomach induced by the reduction in HCl generation impedes pepsinogen activation into pepsin (Murphy et al., 2015). Pepsin activity and production fall as a result, resulting in pernicious anemia. Without pepsin, protein digestion may be hampered, resulting in gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, indigestion, and diarrhea. Undigested proteins may also reach the small intestine and cause inflammation, leading to nutritional loss and other problems.

Describe What Teri’s RBCs Would Look Like if She Were Healthy.

Teri’s RBCs would be small, spherical, and red if healthy. They would also be concave, which increases surface area and enhances oxygen transport capacity. Healthy RBCs are biconcave, meaning they have a thin concave disc on both sides with a 6-8 micrometers diameter. A typical RBC count would be males 4.0 to 5.9 x 1012/L, women 3.8 to 5.2 x 1012/L, with women having a lower RBC count than men, with the number of red blood cells decreasing with age. The biconcave shape of RBCs increases their surface area-to-volume ratio, enabling them to fit through narrow capillaries and perform their gas exchange function more efficiently (Dutta & Dr. Sanchari, 2018).

Additionally, healthy RBCs include hemoglobin, a protein that attaches to and carries oxygen throughout the body, giving them a crimson tint. Because of hemoglobin, RBCs have a characteristic red hue, and the quantity of hemoglobin impacts how vivid the color is. RBCs in optimal health have the proper size, shape, and color to transport oxygen throughout the body.

What Exactly is Hematocrit?

Hematocrit is the proportion of red cells in your blood by volume. Red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are suspended in plasma to form blood. They make up around 45% of human blood volume, although the percentages of each might vary. RBCs take up a specified proportion or fraction of the blood volume. Normal hematocrit levels vary depending on age and race. Men’s normal levels in adulthood range from 41% to 50%. The usual range for women is lower: 36% -44 %. Hematocrit is an important indicator of blood health since it indicates how efficiently the blood can transport oxygen.

Hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells, binds to oxygen and carries it throughout the body. Thavendiranathan et al. (2005) define anemia as a hematocrit level below the normal range, indicating that the individual has too few red blood cells. A hematocrit result that is higher than normal, indicating an excess of red blood cells may suggest polycythemia or erythrocytosis. Hematocrit is a useful diagnostic tool since it indicates how healthy a person’s blood is and how efficiently it can transport oxygen.

Which of Her Body’s Mechanisms Is Stimulated by Low Oxygen Levels to Produce More RBCs?

This process, known as erythropoiesis, is carefully controlled by an evolved oxygen-sensing system to keep RBC counts within a restricted physiological range of 1- 3. Erythropoietin (EPO), a cytokine released by the kidney in response to low blood oxygen tension, is important to this process. Circulating EPO interacts with its cognate receptor (EPOR) on bone marrow erythroid progenitors, activating numerous signaling pathways that promote RBC development. Hematologic stem cells transform into erythroblasts, the building blocks of red blood cells, during erythropoiesis (RBCs).

As they mature, erythroblasts generate hemoglobin, the protein that binds oxygen and gives RBCs their unique red color. After the nuclei of erythroblasts are ejected, they grow into reticulocytes, which are immature RBCs. Reticulocytes circulate in the circulation for around 1-2 days before maturing into RBCs. RBC synthesis must increase in response to low oxygen levels for tissues to continue obtaining enough oxygen. Polycythemia, a condition characterized by abnormally high RBC levels in the blood, may occur from excessive RBC production (Sun et al., 2012). Blood clots and other complications may arise due to polycythemia’s propensity to thicken blood, making it more difficult for the heart to pump blood.

What Protein Describes the Structure of the Oxygen Transported by Our Bodies?

The protein hemoglobin is a molecule that transports almost all the oxygen in the blood. It comprises four subunits, each with a heme group and a globin chain. The heme group comprises a porphyrin ring with an iron (Fe) atom in the core. Usually, the Fe is in the +2 redox state (ferrous) and may bind oxygen reversibly. In humans, at least six genes influence globin synthesis, creating six structurally distinct polypeptide chains known as and chains (Dutta & Dr. Sanchari, 2018). All normal and pathological hemoglobin molecules are tetramers of two distinct pairs of polypeptide chains, each forming a monomeric component.

As oxygen attaches to hemoglobin, the protein changes shape, making additional oxygen molecules connect to it easier. Hemoglobin may transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissues where it is required by using cooperative binding. Changes in the heme group or amino acid sequence might impair hemoglobin’s capacity to bind to oxygen, making hemoglobin’s structure critical to its function.

What Cell Secretes Antibodies, and How Do Antibodies Carry Out Their Many Functions?

Antibodies are produced by white blood cells, known as B cells. Antibiotics may recognize and bind to certain antigens, such as infections or foreign chemicals. Antibodies binding to antigens may neutralize them, activate complement proteins, or induce phagocytosis (Dutta & Dr. Sanchari, 2018). Immunoglobulins, often known as antibodies, are produced by plasma cells, a B cell triggered by an antigen.

The principal applications of antibodies include Neutralization: Antibodies, by binding to a pathogen’s surface features, might directly inhibit the pathogen’s capacity to infect cells, hence minimizing harm. Antibodies may label infections or foreign substances, allowing immune cells such as phagocytes to eat and eliminate the marked cells swiftly. Antibodies may activate complements, a group of proteins that work together to eliminate infections by creating holes in their membranes and prompting immune cells to destroy them. Certain antibodies, for example, may guide natural killer cells to attack and destroy contaminated or cancerous cells. It is called antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) (Dutta & Dr. Sanchari, 2018). Antibodies are critical components of the immune response and are required to protect our bodies from infections and other potentially harmful chemicals.

What Are the Several Varieties of Antibodies and Their Two Characteristics?

According to Dutta and Dr. Sanchari (2018), the biggest antibody and main antibody generated during an initial immune response may complement proteins and promote phagocytosis. It is often found in blood and lymph fluid. IgG, the most common antibody in the body, can neutralize toxins, opsonizing infections, and cross the placenta to provide passive immunization to the baby. It also has a long half-life, allowing it to provide pathogen resistance over time.

Second, large quantities of IgA are found in biological fluids such as saliva, tears, and breast milk, which help prevent infections from entering the body. It helps to boost mucosal immunity by scavenging viruses and bacteria. Ultimately, IgE contributes to allergic responses as well as parasite infection resistance. As histamine attaches to allergens, it releases histamine and other chemicals, causing allergic symptoms such as hives and itching. Finally, IgD is a low-level blood protein with an unknown function but is considered to contribute to B cell activation.

Describe the Structure of Immunoglobulin.

Immunoglobulins, or antibodies, are Y-shaped proteins with four polypeptide chains: two identical heavy chains and two identical light chains connected by disulfide bonds. The variable regions of the light and heavy chains generate two antigen-binding sites that act together to identify and bind to certain antigens. Moreover, the heavy chains have a consistent region that specifies the antibody class, such as IgM, IgG, IgA, IgE, and IgD. (2018) (Dutta & Dr. Sanchari). The distribution and functions of each type are different. Immunoglobulins are critical components of the immune system since they neutralize infections and promote phagocytosis and the complement system. Because of their structure, they can identify and bind to various antigens.

Teri’s experience, in the end, demonstrates the importance of understanding how the different physiological systems in the human body interact. Pernicious anemia is caused by a shortage of vitamin B12, oxygen, and pepsin caused by the loss of parietal cells in the stomach. It appears as depression, convulsions, and abnormal RBCs. It is important to know how the different parts of the immune, cardiovascular, and digestive systems work together to find and treat these diseases. Moreover, the proper functioning of the body depends on the structures and activities of hematocrit, antibodies, and immunoglobulins. A lack or malfunction in any of these sections might have catastrophic consequences. Teri’s example underscores the need for comprehensive and integrated approaches to healthcare, emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration among healthcare providers.

Reference

Dutta & Dr. Sanchari Sinha. “Types of Antibodies.” News, 20 Dec. 2018, https://www.news-medical.net/life-sciences/Types-of-Antibodies.aspx

Murphy, G., Dawsey, S. M., Engels, E. A., Ricker, W., Parsons, R., Etemadi, A., … & Freedman, N. D. (2015). Cancer risk after pernicious anemia in the US elderly population. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 13(13), 2282-2289.

Sun, A., Lin, H. P., Wang, Y. P., & Chiang, C. P. (2012). Significant association of deficiency of hemoglobin, iron, and vitamin B12, high homocysteine level, and gastric parietal cell antibody positivity with atrophic glossitis. Journal of oral pathology & medicine, 41(6), 500-504.

Thavendiranathan, P., Bagai, A., Ebidia, A., Detsky, A. S., & Choudhry, N. K. (2005). Do blood tests cause anemia in hospitalized patients? The effect of diagnostic phlebotomy on hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. Journal of general internal medicine, 20, 520-524.

Policies For Preventing/Mitigating A Disaster: West Texas Case University Essay Example

In 2013, a grievous explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company (WFC) plant in West Texas (Babrauskas, 2018). It killed 15 people, injured over 160 others, and caused extensive destruction to the surrounding area. The West Fertilizer Company plant stored and sold agricultural chemicals, including ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive compound commonly used as a fertilizer (Babrauskas, 2018). Investigators later determined that the explosion was caused by a fire that ignited some of the ammonium nitrate stored at the plant. The fire was likely started by faulty electrical wiring or malfunctioning equipment. The explosion was so powerful that it destroyed or damaged dozens of nearby homes, nursing homes, and schools. The incident led to widespread scrutiny of the safety regulations governing chemical plants and the storage of hazardous materials. Three regulatory agencies were tasked to oversee the West Texas system: the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (TCEQNews, 2021). The occurrence of explosions showed some failures from these agencies. The OSHA and the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) (TCEQNews, 2021) conducted investigations into the explosion, and both agencies issued reports recommending changes to safety standards and enforcement. The tragedy also prompted lawsuits against the West Fertilizer Company plant owners and the companies that supplied and inspected its equipment. As a point of reference, the West Texas incident necessitates evaluating how emergency managers can develop, advocate for, and implement policies to prevent or mitigate a disaster.

Analysis from the West Texas case shows several breakdowns from the regulatory agencies. They failed in their assigned responsibilities, and this necessitated the disaster occurrence. According to how responsibilities were assigned to key actors, the explosion was a preventable incident. However, the problem occurred due to extensive failures of individuals and the assigned regulatory agencies. The key actors, in this case, include the West Fertilizer Company plant owners, EPA, OSHA, TCEQ, and emergency responders (Babrauskas, 2018). The West Fertilizer Company plant owners were entitled to ensure their facility’s and employees’ safety. However, they did not adequately manage the risks associated with ammonium nitrate storage and handling and did not have adequate emergency response plans. They also failed to perform a hazard analysis or implement a process safety management system, which could have identified and addressed potential hazards.

The regulatory agencies EPA, OSHA, and TCEQ failed to adequately enforce safety regulations and perform plant inspections (Babrauskas, 2018). The safety standards for ammonium nitrate were outdated and did not require regular inspections or risk assessments. The agencies also did not coordinate with each other or share information effectively. The emergency responders were not adequately prepared to respond to a disaster of this magnitude, and there was a lack of coordination between different agencies. The responders did not have adequate training or equipment to respond to the explosion, and there were delays in providing medical assistance and evacuating residents from the area.

Key problems include unreliable regulatory oversight (TCEQNews, 2021). The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) found a lack of regulatory oversight by multiple agencies, including the EPA, OSHA, and TCEQ. These agencies did not adequately enforce safety regulations or perform inspections of the WFC plant as tasked, which could have identified and addressed safety hazards. The CSB found inadequate ammonium nitrate storage, transportation, and handling safety standards. The plant did not have a fire protection or secondary containment system to prevent spills or leaks. The safety standards for ammonium nitrate have not been updated since the 1980s, and they did not require regular inspections or risk assessments (Babrauskas, 2018). The plant’s owners did not adequately manage to store and handle ammonium nitrate risks. They did not perform a hazard analysis or implement a process safety management system, which could have identified and addressed potential hazards (TCEQNews, 2021). They also did not have adequate emergency response plans or provide adequate training to employees. Moreover, one ignored issue is how the emergency body responded to the disaster. The emergency response to the explosion was inadequate, and there were delays in providing medical assistance and evacuating residents from the area. The local emergency responders did not have adequate training or equipment to respond to a disaster of this magnitude, and there was a lack of coordination between different agencies.

One of the policies that emergency managers can advocate to address the problem is to improve regulation and oversight by the entrusted parties to ensure safety concerns are managed at risk-prone facilities (Arnold & Itkin, n.d.). The federal government can enact stricter regulations and more rigorous oversight of facilities. This would include regular inspections, mandatory employee safety training, and requirements for using safer technology and materials. Organizations and facilities should be required to demonstrate that they are using the safest possible technology and materials to minimize the risk of accidents (Arnold & Itkin, n.d.). The government should increase penalties for non-compliance and provide funding for enforcement efforts. Such regulatory agencies as the EPA can develop and authorize stricter standards for handling, disposing, and storing perilous materials. OSHA could ensure that organizations and facilities implement safety management systems that necessitate mitigating potential problems. These measures can necessitate ensuring that hazardous materials are stored and handled safely and responsibly, reducing the risk of accidents and disasters.

Another solution would include increased community involvement, necessitating addressing security concerns at any facility (Arnold & Itkin, n.d.). One of the key problems with the West Texas disaster was that the community lacked adequate information on risks linked with the facility. Therefore, local communities should be more responsible for decision-making processes affecting nearby facilities’ safety and security. This could include public meetings, community advisory panels, and other forms of engagement to ensure residents’ concerns residents are heard and addressed (Arnold & Itkin, n.d.). Organizations and facilities should be required to engage with local communities to ensure that they are aware of the potential risks associated with their operations and to address any concerns that residents may have. This engagement should occur regularly and should be designed to be inclusive and responds to the community’s needs community.

Further on community involvement, emergency managers can work toward educating the public about the potential risks associated with hazardous materials and the importance of disaster preparedness (Queensland Government Disaster Management, 2023). By increasing public awareness and engagement, individuals can take steps to protect themselves and their communities, such as developing emergency plans, preparing emergency kits, and staying informed about potential hazards

uring that facilities and managements conduct enhanced emergency response planning (Arnold & Itkin, n.d.). Organizations and must required to have emergency response plans in place, but these plans are often inadequate or outdated. Facilities should be required to develop and regularly update emergency response plans in coordination with local emergency responders (Arnold & Itkin, n.d.). This would ensure that in the event of an accident, first responders have the necessary information and resources to respond quickly and effectively. For example, organizations could be required to conduct regular practices and simulations to test their emergency response plans. Local emergency responders could be involved in these exercises to ensure familiarity with the facility and its operations. Organizations could also be required to train local emergency responders regularly on the hazards associated with the facility and the appropriate response protocols (Arnold & Itkin, n.d.). By enhancing the ability of communities to respond to disasters, the impact of disasters can be minimized and mitigated, and lives can be saved.

Overall, the West Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion was a tragic and preventable incident caused by a combination of failures of regulatory agencies and individual actions. The key actors, including the plant owners, regulatory agencies, and emergency responders, all played a role in the failure to prevent or mitigate the disaster. All stakeholders must take responsibility for their role in the incident and work together to implement changes that will prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. Reliable policies that focus on improving the regulation and oversight of hazardous materials facilities, improving emergency planning and response capabilities, and increasing public awareness and engagement can address such problems that led to the West Texas incident. By taking a comprehensive and proactive approach to disaster prevention and mitigation, emergency managers can help ensure the safety and well-being of their communities.

References

Arnold & Itkin. (n.d.). Chemical Plant Safety. Arnold & Itkin LLP. https://www.arnolditkin.com/plant-refinery-accidents/chemical-plant-accidents/chemical-plant-safety/#:~:text=Themostbasicwayto

Babrauskas, V. (2018). The ammonium nitrate explosion at West, Texas: A disaster that could have been avoided. Fire and Materials, 42(2), 164-172.

TCEQNews, (2021). Texas Tier II Chemical Reporting: Introduction, background, and update. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwpPul9Kli0

Queensland Government Disaster Management. (2023). Prevention preparedness response and recovery disaster management guideline. Qld.gov.au. https://www.disaster.qld.gov.au/disaster-management-guideline

Population Health Legislation Writing Sample

Throughout the entire life course, a visible social gradient in health exists, such that socially disadvantaged individuals have a higher risk of adverse health outcomes than those with social privilege. Studies indicate that the social condition of an individual impact their health in different ways. For instance, socially disadvantaged Persons usually experience more stress, have fewer resources, or live in socially disadvantaged neighborhoods. This interplay between social determinants increases the susceptibility to poor health (van der Meer et al., 2022). This paper will analyze the undocumented immigrants who are vulnerable groups in the United States, the social determinant of health (SDOH) model, and the Life Course Perspective linking specific social determinants such as poverty and inadequate access to healthcare to health inequity, and interventions that can mitigate poor health attributed to social determinants.

The Social Determinant of Health (SODH) model: This theory proposes that socioeconomic factors profoundly influence health outcomes. Social determinants are the conditions in which an individual is born, lives, grows, works, and ages. Social determinants of Health (SODH) can be grouped as macro and micro-level social determinants influencing an individual’s health. Macro-level social determinant includes health policies, education, and the labor market. Macro-level determinant influences society’s social stratification. On the other hand, micro-level determinants of individuals’ socioeconomic position, such as income and wealth, influence their daily exposure and environment (van der Meer et al., 2022). On the other hand, the Life Course Perspective proposes that socioeconomic conditions an individual experiences can impact their health outcomes throughout their lifetime. For example, children from low-income families may experience various challenges, leading to physical and mental health problems. Health equity can be defined as a state in which individuals, irrespective of their race, color, gender, or ethnicity, among other discriminatory grounds, have just and fair opportunities to attain their highest level of health (CDC, 2022). SODH factors such as education, income, health policy, wealth, and the labor market influence health equity.

The United States healthcare system is among the best in the world; however, it has many flaws attributed to health disparities, particularly among the vulnerable population or individuals (Mason et al. 200). Vulnerabilities populations or groups are defined as those that require special healthcare attention, protection, or care. The interests of these individuals or groups are often more likely to be considered unjustly (Sossauer et al., 2019). Vulnerable groups include immigrants (Undocumented) (Mason et al., 2020). Poverty and lack of access to healthcare are the main SDOHs affecting these populations.

Demographics of Immigrants

According to Chang (2019), the United States has more than 44.5 million foreign-born population. This population constitutes 13.7% of the total United States population. In New Jersey, Texas, Illinois, New York, and California, more than 12.1 million undocumented immigrants reside these states. Most Immigrants in the US are mixed families. Mixed families include at least one legal immigrant child or one citizen and at least one undocumented parent. Studies indicate that immigrant communities have a higher mental health prevalence than native-born homeless individuals in the United States due to social factors such as poverty and access to health care that influence their health outcomes.

Poverty

According to Chang (2019), undocumented immigrants face a high rate of poverty that is disproportionate. Studies indicate that more than half of the undocumented immigrants live below the federal line of poverty compared to the United States-born and natural citizens at 11%. Poverty among immigrants is attributed to low wages compared with native citizens. In addition, immigrants are less likely to receive health insurance among other employer-provided benefits. Furthermore, immigrants cannot meet their basic needs, such as housing and food, which prevents them from addressing their health necessities and those of their children. Due to poverty, Immigrant children often experience poor well-being, including negative development and mental and physical-related health outcomes (Chang, 2019). Financial hardships among undocumented immigrants are worsened following the deportation of a parent. This causes a sudden loss of income, leaving most immigrant families experiencing homelessness and food insecurity. Consequently, this increases stress and mental conditions such as depression and anxiety among the remaining children and the parent. Also, this leads to school dropout among older children as they seek jobs to support their families financially instead of pursuing a college degree.

Health Care System

Access to health care among the immigrant population, particularly the undocumented, significantly contributes to health disparities in the United States of America. The federal government does not provide benefits such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid for undocumented immigrants. For instance, the federal government signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) which provides insurance to millions of individuals into law; however, the ACT excluded undocumented immigrants (Chang, 2019). Furthermore, undocumented immigrants are prevented from buying Marketplace health coverage, receiving premium tax credits, or obtaining other savings on the Marketplace plans. Due to the lack of these subsidies, undocumented immigrants facing poverty find it difficult to buy this insurance. As a result, they depend on employer-based insurance or services from free clinics, community health clinics, and emergency departments. Again, healthcare professionals offer suboptimal care to undocumented immigrants, increasing health disparities. They also experience mental illness stigma and denial, which prevents them from seeking treatment.

Interventions

Interventions for mitigating poor heath attributed to poverty and poor healthcare access among undocumented immigrants include improving access to healthcare and increasing economic opportunities among this population or promoting a health culture (Mason et al., 2020). The US government can improve access to healthcare by providing undocumented immigrants free or low-cost healthcare. In addition, the government can increase undocumented immigrants’ transport to healthcare and improve the healthcare providers’ availability. The economic opportunities can be increased through job creation, providing undocumented immigrants with training and education, and increasing their access to financial resources. Other reforms include reforming immigration policies to allow undocumented immigrants to gain citizenship. This intervention differs from the usual primary prevention strategies because they target the root cause of health inequalities.

References

Chang, C. D. (2019). Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities Among Immigrants and their Children. Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care49(1), 23–30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cppeds.2018.11.009

CDC. (2022, July 1). What is health equity? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthequity/whatis/index.html

Mason, D. J., Leavitt, J. K., & Chaffee, M. W. (2020). Policy & politics in nursing and health care. St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier.van der Meer, L., Barsties, L. S., Daalderop, L. A., Waelput, A. J. M., Steegers, E. A. P., & Bertens, L. C. M. (2022). Social determinants of vulnerability in the reproductive age population: a systematic review. BMC Public Health22(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-13651-6

Sossauer, L., Schindler, M., & Hurst, S. (2019). Vulnerability identified in clinical practice: A qualitative analysis. BMC Medical Ethics20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12910-019-0416-4