Social Determinants Of Health And Health Inequalities

Social Determinants Of Health And Health Inequalities

Social Determinants Of Health And Health Inequalities – Home / Health Care and Medicine / Health Care / Solving Public Health Problems: Concepts and Evidence / Social Determinants of Health

In this video we ask why do poor people suffer worse health outcomes than people with more advantaged socio-economic status?

Social Determinants Of Health And Health Inequalities

Social Determinants Of Health And Health Inequalities

So, we can ask ourselves why poor people are experiencing worse health outcomes than people who are more advantaged in terms of socio-economic status?

Disparities In Healthcare

The answers lie in the ’causes of causes’, the social determinants of health, where people are born, grow up, live, work and age. So we can say that there are many social determinants of health. Before reading more about social determinants of health below, watch the video above.

Poverty is a social determinant of health and ultimately underlies all of these factors. When we talk around lifestyle choices that people make, it’s really about opportunities and possibilities. Many of these are mired in poverty. It is important to realize this in the course of life. For example, experiencing adverse situations early in life can have long-term negative effects on our health. Children who thrive in early childhood have a higher likelihood of positive health outcomes later in life. All factors are linked, for example, good relationships can encourage good communication skills early in life, which can lead to success in education, which can lead to better or more qualifications, which in turn can lead to better incomes. Better access to health care, and better health results. and vice versa.

Social networks, family, friends and communities are also social determinants of health and this is so strong that social isolation and loneliness are associated with a 30% increased risk of heart disease and stroke (Hakulinen, et al 2019). This one is incredible. figure. People who are socially connected to family, friends or their community are happier and live longer. The Health Foundation (2018) found that people with less physical and mental health problems had better health outcomes than those with less exposure. We can then think more about the concept of social exclusion and how people become disconnected from their social networks, and the negative effects this has on their health and well-being. Again, try to think about how these factors are interrelated. Poverty plays a role again, you need to have money to be able to connect and engage with friends.

It’s probably not hard to imagine how housing affects our health. Marmot (2020) stated that children living in cold homes are twice as likely to have respiratory problems as compared to children living in warm homes. Housing is important to our overall health and well-being. It’s a place where we want to feel safe and at home, and if we can’t feel this, it can affect our health. Does the accommodation allow the person to connect to their social networks, or are they isolated because of the location? Or housing leads to overcrowding, which can put someone at risk of ill health, for example due to stress, or in the case of Covid the lack of opportunity for social distancing poses a direct risk to people’s health. Are the children able to do their homework in a quiet place at home?

Advancing Health Equity

Education is an important social determinant of health. Marmot says that people with the lowest healthy life expectancy are three times more likely to have no qualifications than those with the highest life expectancy. Marmot also points out that if everyone in the UK had a lower mortality rate for those with a university education there would be around 202,000 fewer premature deaths each year. About 500 died that day. Qualifications and education are significantly related to health behaviors and health outcomes. People educated to a higher degree are less likely to suffer from poor mental health and less likely to suffer from poor health outcomes. A good education is linked to other skills that can help us in life, for example education helps us develop the skills we need to build social connections, or education helps us access better job opportunities, and feel more empowered and have a sense of control. . someone’s life

Marmot also says the value of a good education is simple: healthier, happier, wealthier people and stronger families, communities and businesses, so investing in education is actually a very smart thing for a country to do.

Being employed is important. Employment provides income and is therefore necessary to afford the basics of life such as food, housing, gas and electricity, as well as the opportunity to engage in social networks. But employment alone is not enough to protect our health, good employment is very important. It means doing work in which we feel valued, fulfilled and have a sense of control, which is important for our self-esteem and mental health. Not having these experiences can lead to great stress and that has a significant negative impact on our health. The Marmot Report 2020 highlights that the incidence of stress in the UK has increased since 2010, with an increase in poor quality employment now accompanied by greater insecurity and pressure. Zero hour contracts are an example of this. Employment also needs to be in a safe environment that protects the safety and well-being of employees. Low income can be associated with work that carries many occupational hazards.

Social Determinants Of Health And Health Inequalities

Transportation is another social determinant of health. The Health Foundation (2018) highlighted that there are nine times more fatal and serious injuries among pedestrians aged 5 to 9 years in the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived areas. Transportation provides opportunities and jobs as well as access to essential services such as social networks and health care. There are differences in health outcomes between rural and urban communities, with rural communities having poorer health outcomes. A good and accessible public transport system is conducive to a healthy life. A good public health system is also important for air pollution, another factor that affects our health

Health Matters: Addressing Health Inequalities In The East Midlands

This brings us to the environment, another social determinant of health, and public health experts are calling for more action on the environment as a public health emergency. But here we also mean our immediate environment, our environment in which we live. Do we feel good and safe in our environment? Living in and having access to green spaces is beneficial to our health. Having easy access to green spaces gives people opportunities to engage in physical activity or children to play. Being in nature and enjoying green space itself is also beneficial for our health and makes us feel good. During Covid-19 we also saw huge inequalities where some people have considerably less access to green spaces. Does our environment help us stay connected to others and our social networks, or does our environment contribute to social isolation? All important factors to consider, and all related to our health.

Nutrition is the final social determinant of health that we will discuss. The healthy choice should be a really easy choice, but unfortunately it isn’t. A poor diet is one of the biggest risk factors for health for preventable disease, but it is more expensive to get the energy we need from healthy food than from unhealthy food (The Health Foundation, 2018). Marmot (2020) highlights that people’s poor diets are largely the result of poverty and not poor choices. Remember that all factors are interrelated and interconnected. Healthy food should be affordable but accessible and factors in our environment can make it difficult to access healthy foods. We find a higher density of fast food chains in deprived areas than in more affluent areas, and healthy foods are harder to afford in deprived areas.

Want to continue learning? This material is taken from the University of Liverpool online course Tackling Public Health Issues: Concepts and Evidence View course.

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Barragán Reintroduces Bill To Address Health Disparities By Improving The Social Determinants Of Health

Join over 18 million learners to start, switch or build your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of subject areas. The COVID-19 pandemic and the killing of George Floyd, as well as other recent deaths of black people at the hands of police, have laid bare structural and systemic racial inequalities and their effects on the health and well-being of individuals and communities. While these events have brought health and health care disparities into sharp focus for the media and the public, they are not new. These chronic and persistent health disparities are symptomatic of broader social and economic challenges rooted in structural and systemic barriers in areas including housing, education, employment, and the justice system—as well as underlying racism and discrimination. In the midst of these difficult times for our nation, increased recognition and understanding of disparities can provide a catalyst for challenge.

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