Social Determinants Of Health And Health

1170 Words Dec 3rd, 2014 5 Pages
Social determinants of health are social, economic and physical factors that affect the health of individuals in any given population. There are fourteen social determinants of health but Income is perhaps the most important of these because it shapes living conditions, influences health related behaviors, and determines food security. In Canada, people with lower incomes are more susceptible to disease/ conditions, higher mortality rate, decreased life expectancy and poorer perceived health than people with high incomes. In numerous Canadian studies and reports, there has been more emphasis on health being based on an individual’s characteristics, choices and behaviours, rather than the role that income plays as a social determinant of health. Although Canada has one of the highest income economies in the world and is comprised of a free health care system, many low income families are a burden on the system because of the physical and mental health issues influenced by income insecurity. Low income individuals are heavier users of health care services because they have lower levels of health and more health problems than do people with higher incomes. This essay will address income as a social determinant of health in three key sections: what is known on the issue, why the issue is important and how can health and public policies address the issue. The main theme that runs through the essay is the income related health inequalities among low income groups compared to…
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