Nov 14, 2020 in Health

Public Health Determinants

Effects of Social Determinants

Many factors have an impact on peoples existence, in particular, social determinants, which lead to a certain health condition. Social factors, including such factors as race, ethnicity, disability, age and others, as well as individual behavior, policymaking and other determinants of health are narrowly related to health disparities have an impact on populations health.


Economic systems, as well as overlapping and integrated social structures that are responsible for differences in the health of people are called social health determinants. They include the physical and social environment, societal and structural factors, health services, policymaking, genetics and biology, and individual behavior. Bircher and Kuruvilla (2014) state, Social determinants are the unequal distribution of power, income, goods, and services, globally and nationally, the consequent unfairness in the immediate, visible circumstances of peoples lives (p. 363). The conditions of peoples birth and growth, places where they live and work, age and different facilities tasked with curing illnesses are public health determinants. They include the availability of conditions necessary for daily needs satisfaction (good food, job and educational opportunities, and wages for living) and discrimination. In addition, these factors determining health can include the exposure to violence, crime and social disorder; collective interaction and public support; quality schools and residential segregation; public safety, and options for transportation. Moreover, they can involve the availability of cell phones, Internet, leading technologies, and the mass media. Nevertheless, health services access and their high quality cause excellent health of individuals. Remote access or the lack of quality health care has a negative impact on peoples health status. It should be noted that human behavior has an impact on health condition, and people who do not smoke, drink or use drugs are exposed to heart diseases, gastrointestinal tract problems, cancer and other chronic diseases less frequently. Furthermore, some genetic and biological factors cause health differences between older adults and the young generation. Examples of genetic determinants are cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, and hemophilia. Additionally, policymaking effects on peoples health by increasing taxes on sales of different tobacco and alcohol products can reduce the number of smokers and drinkers. Furthermore, mandatory use of seat belts and baby car seats results in lower mortality during road traffic accidents.

Social determinants of health have a close relationship with health disparities, being health differences that adversely affect socially disadvantaged groups (Braveman, Kumanyika, Fielding, & Troutman, 2011). These disparities are systematic and plausibly avoidable differences in health according to religion, skin color, race, ethnicity, and nationality. In addition, position or socioeconomic resources, including wealth, income, education, and occupation, sexual orientation, gender identity, geography, age, illness, disability, political affiliation, and many other features associated with marginalization or discrimination are important determinants of health and causes of health disparities. They influence the social hierarchy of a group or an individuals position reflected by a social disadvantage or advantage. However, disparities do not include all health differences. Moreover, specific health disparities are related to social justice, and unintentional or intentional discrimination can be their cause. Differences may exist because of the strengthening of vulnerability and social disadvantage. Moreover, they are alterations measured in the health of the population. Peoples income (one of the social determinants) has a direct relation to health disparities, and the poor and unprotected citizens have limited access to health services. According to Kidia and Phil (2016), Most people served by the public health care sector do not routinely receive primary care services, and when they do, their care is rudimentary at best (p. 909).

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Moreover, African-American and Hispanic minorities, and the population of Native Americans receive less than optimal healthcare services. Moreover, the education level of influences health disparities as well. It should be noted that even in early childhood health differences among people are noticeable. Social determinants of health are life-enhancing components like housing, food supply, social and economic relationships, education, health care and the use of transport, and their successful distribution determines life quality and length. At the same time, the absence of these factors is considered to be the root cause of health disparities.

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Health disparities have an impact on populations tendency to obesity and stress, addiction, and substance abuse. According to Marmot and Allen (2014), In the United States, disparities, most often, have been used to refer to racial/ethnic differences in health, or more commonly health care (p. 517). Therefore, some ethnic and cultural groups have a higher rate of premature deaths or more destructive effects of social determinants than others. These groups include Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and economically disadvantaged or rural populations. Although the first two do not use alcohol in the same number as non-Hispanics, racial and ethnic disparities still cause alcohol-related problems, diseases, and deaths in such humans. Drinking people of these groups become alcoholics faster than other individuals. Moreover, Americans of Hispanic origin are more vulnerable to the death from cirrhosis than African-Americans and other white Americans. Alcohol-related diseases of liver affect Blacks and Hispanic individuals, Alaska Natives and Native Americans more frequently. Moreover, the mortality rate as a result of driving under the influence of drink is higher as well. In addition, many Hispanics can drive intoxicated, and alcohol is the main reason for Native Americans diseases and deaths.

In conclusion, social determinants of health are related to disparities and have an impact on the nations health status. Such factors as social conditions, genetics, individual behavior, education, race, age, skin color, and other aspects presenting health differences impact the general state of society. Therefore, the healthcare system should consider them for the formation and improvement of citizens health.


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