12 Social Determinants of Health

3971 Words Nov 27th, 2012 16 Pages
KEY DETERMINANT -- 1. Income and Social Status
Health status improves at each step up the income and social hierarchy. High income determines living conditions such as safe housing and ability to buy sufficient good food. The healthiest populations are those in societies which are prosperous and have an equitable distribution of wealth.

Why are higher income and social status associated with better health? If it were just a matter of the poorest and lowest status groups having poor health, the explanation could be things like poor living conditions. But the effect occurs all across the socio-economic spectrum. Considerable research indicates that the degree of control people have over life circumstances,
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Similarly, in the 1994¬95 National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, children aged 10 and 11 reported a strong tendency toward positive social behaviour and caring for others.
Evidence from Investing in the Health of Canadians:
Some experts in the field have concluded that the health effect of social relationships may be as important as established risk factors such as smoking, physical activity, obesity and high blood pressure.
• An extensive study in California found that, for men and women, the more social contacts people have, the lower their premature death rates.
• Another U.S. study found that low availability of emotional support and low social participation were associated with all-cause mortality.
• The risk of angina pectoris decreased with increasing levels of emotional support in a study of male Israeli civil servants. Top of Page
KEY DETERMINANT -- 3. Education and Literacy
Health status improves with level of education.

Education is closely tied to socioeconomic status, and effective education for children and lifelong learning for adults are key contributors to health and prosperity for individuals, and for the country. Education contributes to health and prosperity by equipping people with knowledge and skills for problem solving, and helps provide a sense of control and mastery over life circumstances. It increases
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