Impact Of Determinants Of Health

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Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay

The word health looks very simple at first glance, but the meaning and application of this word is more complicated than a simple definition. The world Health Organization (WHO) has defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (2015a). Many factors determine the healthy outcome of a person. Determinants of health are factors, behaviours and conditions that interrelate to influence health. Health status results from the combined influence of “complex interactions between social and economic factors, the physical environment and individual behavior” (WHO, 2009 b). The Public Health Agency of Canada (2013) has recognized 12 factors as key determinants of health. Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay They are income and social status, social support networks, education and literacy, employment/working conditions, social environments, physical environments, personal health practices and coping skills, healthy child development, biology and genetic endowment, health services, gender and culture. This paper will describe three primary determinants which affect my life and health. Income, education and literacy and employment and working conditions play a significant role throughout my life. Income plays a vital role in everyday life. Income determines the status of your living standard and social status. If you are rich and have the better source of income Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay


Any observant person understands that one’s position in life and the adversities associated with poverty, ignorance, and powerlessness erode health and shorten life. By the middle of the nineteenth century there were already careful, detailed inquiries in England, France, Germany, and the United States on how the conditions of the poor cut life short. Edwin Chadwick, in his report on sanitary conditions in England, noted that in London’s Bethnal Green mechanics, servants, and laborers and their families died at an average age of sixteen, whereas gentlemen and professionals died at an average age of forty-five. 1 John Griscom, a physician at the New York Hospital, noted in a comparable investigation of the laboring population of New York in 1845, “The rich…live in larger houses, with freer ventilation, and upon food better adapted to support health and life. Their means of obtaining greater comforts and more luxuries, are to them, though perhaps unconsciously, the very reason of their prolonged lives.” Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay

Thousands of studies since then have confirmed and elaborated such observations. Almost every outcome conceivable—from fetal wastage and perinatal mortality, infant mortality, developmental problems, disability, distress, and longevity—has been found to be associated with social position. There has been a recent outpouring of publications on the topic. I focus here on a British inquiry on inequalities in health and four collections of papers and essays published in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada, but my larger goal is to explore the importance of social class and other social determinants of health and to suggest ways of improving health. 3

In both England and the United States growing inequalities amid economic growth have helped to redirect attention to the issue. The election of Britain’s Blair government especially focused interest on possible remedial efforts as part of New Labour’s agenda. The Acheson report, commissioned by the secretary of state for health, made thirty-nine principal recommendations to alleviate poverty and reduce inequalities. While generally following the 1980 Black report, which was repressed by the Thatcher government, the newer report is vague in specification of underlying strategies and priorities. 4 The recommendations involve income redistribution through increased benefits and pensions, which are concrete but politically difficult, and many other programs whose costs and effectiveness are unclear.Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay

The other four volumes also abound with recommendations on reducing inequalities through policy changes in almost every sector, from child care and nutrition to employment and transportation. Beyond the moral questions concerning the persistence of poverty in an environment of plenty, such recommendations have relevance for the development of human capital for an increasingly complex global economy; for the maintenance of safe and livable communities; and for future demands on health care, social welfare, and criminal justice systems.Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay

The U.K. National Health Service (NHS), the most strictly rationed Western health care system, and the United States, with the highest health expenditures, are both troubled by potential future health demand, as are policymakers in most other nations. They believe (probably mistakenly) that healthy populations will make fewer demands for expensive medical and other interventions, and they exhort their constituencies to practice more health-promoting behaviors. The mental leap between such conventional ideas and appreciation that different social structures produce varying health outcomes is a significant shift in paradigm. Although not a new idea, it is not one that policymakers easily embrace.Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay

The Social determinants of health (SDOH) are a group of factors that impact health and wellbeing of an individual. Child development is influenced by various aspects starting from birth, biology, genetic characteristics, gender, culture and family values. The Family provides adequate support systems by various means such as socioeconomic resources, ideal family environment and effective parenting skills. A community’s health and social development depends on healthy living and health services available to them (McMurray & Clendon, 2011). The health burden of disease and causes of major health inequalities arises from the environment in which an individual is born, raised, grown and worked. Theses factors are referred to as SDOH.

SDOH consist of a number of structural conditions. The model representing cascade of bubble demonstrates how SDOH are interrelated to each other. It is observed that if there are any political or environmental changes, all structural determinants are affected (Wilcox, 2007 as cited in McMurray & Clendon, 2011).Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay

Primary health care (PHC) is aimed to create healthy communities. PHC approach is best described by multi-level health promotion model. Primary prevention is attained through upstream actions which are aimed to promote and maintain health. This is achieved through providing a healthy environment, health services and education for healthy living. Secondary prevention/midstream actions are providing treatment for illness and further prevention of disability. Tertiary or downstream actions are basically rehabilitation services or educating the community to cope with disability conditions (McMurray & Clendon, 2011). This essay outlines the effect of housing on health of the community. Improving the housing condition is primary prevention through upstream actions.

To improve health and reduce inequalities, a coordinated approach is required to address SDOH which has direct effects on structural determinants. House designs should be made by taking into account health and well being. The infrastructure planning for housing designs which should include insulation, ventilation, sewage system, public spaces as well as community’s participation in their health development project should be encouraged. The health of an individual, families and the community can be improved by well designed, insulated houses and community health services. (WHO, 2011; Chapman & Bierre, 2008).Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention also emphasised on approach to promote health by improving housing and living conditions. The visits to emergency and stay in hospital with serious acute medical illness is shorter with improved living conditions as opposed to those who lives in poor housing (Thomson, Thomas & Petticrew, 2009; Sadowski, Kee, VanderWeele & Buchanan, 2009).Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay

The research study has indicated that people migrated to better housing has improved health outcomes and are also exposed to less substance abuse, violence and less neighbourhood problems as compared to their original living conditions. Government generated social and health policies directly affect the quality of life and living conditions of the community, and also the economical status of the family significantly influence an individual’s health. A co-ordinated action is required from the Policy makers, health service providers and leaders from various sectors to utilise their knowledge to enhance better living conditions bringing the best population health outcomes (Williams, Costa, Odunlami & Mohammad, 2012).Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay

The importance of living and working conditions, indoor environment, safe neighbourhood, healthy lifestyles in general and respiratory health in particular is a major concern these days. The predominant factors increasing the risk of asthma and respiratory problems are moisture damage in the house and bacterial growth. The studies have shown a close association between mould, dampness and asthma in children. Damp houses resulting in mould and microbial growth are the predisposing factor resulting in wheezing in adults and infants. In a survey carried in NZ homes reported 35 % of moulds clearly visible in the living area or bedrooms. NZ has been reportedly having higher asthma rates in the world, which is contributed by poor living conditions. Damp and cold houses support the bacterial growth, providing favourable media for mould, bacteria and dust mites. Young children spend more time at home as compared to adults, There is a significant effect of damp houses on respiratory system, thus the incident rate of bronchitis and wheezing illness is more common in children. It is suggested, if people will be provided with better housing and insulation, respiratory symptoms will reduce by 33% (Keall, Crane, Baker, Wickens, Chapman & Cunningham, 2012).Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay

It has always been stated that population of health is largely impacted by quality of housing where they live. If people living in substandard housing or poor living conditions could be provided with better housing, insulation and ventilation, It could potentially prevent ill health. There was a cluster randomised trial for housing, insulation and health study of insulating houses of communities with low socioeconomic status. A Community based approach is effective mean of improving health rather than an individual focused e.g. Insulating houses are more effective than providing people with more clothes. Older aged, infants and children spend more time in houses, thus they have to bear the physiological stress due to their weaker immune system. This research also reports an association of cold, damp houses likely to get bacterial and mould growth, eventually causing respiratory problems. Several international report highlight poor insulation, damp, cold and mouldy houses leading to poor health. People with insulated houses and better living conditions were less likely to be admitted to acute wards with pulmonary and obstructive airway diseases. The results interpreted in studies of the insulated housing affecting health were significant with improved outcome measures, except for the use of medical facilities. This study was conducted in uninsulated old houses with cold and dampness, where at least one member has respiratory problems, Increased warmth and decreased humidity brought improved health conditions. Population living in well designed and insulated houses reported significantly less cold and dampness however People in insulated houses also reported that their houses felt significantly less damp and mouldy, however this study does not determine essential determinants involved. Although this study greatly emphasise the effect of living in cold and damp houses resulting in pulmonary conditions such as asthma, cough and wheezing (Chapman et al., 2007).Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay


A study conducted by Kearns, Smith and Abbott on Pacific population showed substandard living conditions as compared to Maori and European population. Pacific people are at a great risk of developing asthma, cold and flu (as cited in Butler, Williams, Tukuuitonga & Peterson, 2003). Studies have reported a close relationship between cold, damp houses and respiratory diseases. Researchers also highlighted the association of poor housing with mental health and maternal health. Statistical analysis showed cold/damp houses a potential risk factor for asthma and postnatal depression. The pathophysiology of the respiratory symptoms is triggered by an allergic reaction to fungi or dust mites (Butler, Williams, Tukuuitonga & Peterson, 2003).Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay

A major British cohort study has reported an evidence of poor living/housing conditions are growing over the life, of course, and can impose serious health effects on an individual and family. Thus, interventions to improve housing could measure better effects. Providing insulation for houses for the community with low economic conditions is a cost effective intervention to promote health and well being. It should be widely accepted by the community for their own health, policy makers and leaders to make strategy for healthy measures (Chapman et al., 2007).Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay


The health of the community is greatly influenced by SDOH more than medical care. As above stated, quality of life is significantly affected by the society and the environment in which they live and work. The burden of disease and ill health can be reduced by improving the housing environment. Medical care and accessing physician is not affordable to all, however better housing conditions can effectively reduce the financial burden on the health sector. Hence, the individual and the community should be encouraged to participate in health programmes for the promotion of their health and wellness.Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay

Health Promotion Essay- The Determinants of Health The determinants of health are economic and social conditions that affect people’s health status. These influence the living and working conditions that impacts people’s everyday living condition. Factors such as the place and the environment we live in, genetics, educational level or work status and income, as well as friends and family are some of the aspects that affects our health condition. On the other hand, the people that have an access to good health care and have financial stability are less susceptible and are often less affected. (NANB, 2009) There are difficulties and challenges on how to facilitate and what tools to use to resolve the determinants of health Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay
Income and social status is one of the determinants of health. Being able to have a secured, low cost housing that provides for every individual or family during their whole lifetime is a major determinant of health and is important to good health. As Dr. David Hulchanski and colleague’s research “Three Cities” at the University of Toronto stated; “Housing insecurity is linked to income insecurity which is, in turn, leads to illness and premature death” (RNAO,2013). People who live in the street are more susceptible to physical and mental problem and are likely to die early due to sickness compared to general population. Homeless population are vulnerable to communicable diseases and substance abuse and this may jeopardize their health situation (RNAO, 2013). Health conditions become better as income and social status improve. Higher income means the affordability of an individual for a better way of life and providing their family a safe and secured environment. Impact Of Determinants Of Health Essay