This paper will look at changes over the past ten years in the differences between the poor and the nonpoor in selected measures of morbidity, disability, and utilization of health services. Data are from the National Center for Health Statistics' 1964 and 1973 Health Interview Survey, which consisted of interviews in approximately 40,000 households for each of the time periods. The poor are defined as persons in families with less than $3,000 income in 1964 and less than $6,000 income in 1973, which was approximately 20 per cent of the population in each time period. The health variables investigated include: discharges from short-stay hospitals; average length of hospital stay; persons with no physician and dental visits within the past two years; number of physician and dental visits per person per year; number of restricted activity days, bed days, work-loss, and school-loss days per person per year; and persons with limitation of activity due to chronic illness. The data are presented for four age groups (under 17, 17 to 44, 45 to 64, and 65 and over) and by color (white and all other). However, caution should be used in interpreting much of the data by color since the sampling errors are relatively high for most estimates for the “all other” category. The data indicate that some of the gaps that existed in 1964 between the poor and the nonpoor have been narrowed or eliminated, particularly in hospital and outpatient physician utilization. There is no evidence of marked changes between the poor and the nonpoor in dental care.
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