We knew it all along. But anecdotal information does not have the same weight as peer-reviewed scientific research articles. And if that research quantifies the data so that we can make an educated estimate as to how many people die from poverty, and lists specific factors which contribute to illness and death, then we have more power to influence public health policy.
As the chairman of the department of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University put it, “If you say that 193,000 deaths are due to heart attack, then heart attack matters. If you say 300,000 deaths are due to obesity, then obesity matters. Well, if 291,000 deaths are due to poverty and income inequality, then those things matter too.”
An additional Texas Tribune article makes interesting supplemental reading, discussing how a family’s slide into impoverishment plagues its health also.