Social determinants of health

1076 Words5 Pages
Health starts in our homes, workplaces, schools and communities. Most of us may think that the state of health is determined by our own behaviors and we are taking the initiatives in taking care of ourselves. By having a balanced diet, getting enough rest, exercising, not taking alcohols and smoking, receiving recommendation of preventive vaccine injection and screening tests, and seeing a doctor when we are sick, these behaviors all have great impact on our health. However, social determinants which are mostly responsible for health inequalities are also involved in influencing our state of health partly.
Social determinants of health are the general socio-economic, cultural and environmental conditions in which people are born, grow,
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The accumulation of stress and anxiety during life not only affect mental well-being, but also influence the body through the cardiovascular, endocrine and immune system. If people feel tense, they become more vulnerable for conditions including high blood pressure, depression, aggression and other health problems. Also, people especially those in working class may ttake illness-related behavior like smoking and drinking in an attempt to release stress. Since it is unaffordable for people in working class to seek help from psychotherapy, living under stress, they would turn to illness-related behaviors as a coping mechanism within a generally adverse conditions . According to a survey conducted by the Hong Kong federation of youth group, 30% of interviewees adopt a negative approach such as smoking, taking alcohols and drugs to deal with stress. (Hkedcity, 2004) The absorption of tobacco and alcohol will damage organ function, triggering poor health. http://www.hkedcity.net/article/8campus/040923-006/index.phtml?print=1 Despite of social gradient and stress, poverty, social exclusion and discrimation have a major impact on health and premature death. Relative poverty refers to living on less than half of the median income and much poorer than most people in society. In Hong Kong, more than 550,000 people live under the poverty
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