Title: The Determinants of Health
Student: Katie Belcher
A person’s health can be determined by a number of factors, an individual’s circumstances and environment can effecton [EF3]whether they are healthy or not. These factors can include where we live, our genetics, income, education, relationships and lifestyle. The availability of healthcare services has less of an impact that many would have thought (WHO, 2014).
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It is believed that although life expectancy has risen not all have the same opportunities of achieving good health, and that there are patterns to show which groups of individuals will not live in good health, that in the modern world should be easily done. It is suggested a number of variables that interact together can affect health, so an individual person cannot be blamed or credited for the state of their health (Naidoo, 2000).
Main Body: Discussion of Findings:
These factors determining a person’s health means that people living in the same community or people of the same can [EF4]have differences in the state of their health. Where a person lives can affect them in many ways such as is the water we drink clean and safe, is the housing overcrowded, does the area have a high crime rate and is the area able to supply a reasonable amount of jobs for the people that live there (Naidoo, 2000).
A person’s income can be a major determinant of health, income affects a person’s living standards, hygiene standards, the food they eat, the education received and the relationships we keep. Income does not just affect one person but also their immediate family, meaning the determinant effects a group (Deaton, 2003). Unemployment affecting their family will mean if affect’[EF5]s their children[EF6], being unemployed and possibly having to live in an area with high crime rates and low educational standards can affect children’s short term health and long term health. With a lack of education a child’s knowledge of illnesses, prevention of illness and signs and symptoms of illness will be at risk (Naidoo, 2000). The children will socialise with others living in the same conditions as themselves and in the long term could end up working in low paid jobs or also become unemployed and start the cycle again.
A lack of employment will lead to a lack of income, which would in turn lead to a lack in quality of health. Unemployment has been given a large amount of media coverage since the recession began in 2008, it was at the start of the recession that unemployment began to rise, at the start of the financial crisis there was[EF7] 1.6 million unemployed in the UK, and by the end of 2009 it had reached 2.5 million (BBC, 2014). This rise in unemployment would have also meant a loss in the quality of health of a small percentage of the UK.
Being unemployed can also affect a person’s self esteem leading to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and disturbance in sleep (3FC, 2010). Unemployment can affect the area of residence of a person and their family as having a change in the amount of money entering the house could mean they have to move. This change could lead to the environment affecting their health, for example people living in cities have a higher risk of pollution which could lead to health issues such as asthma. This has been shown in the recent pollution worry in Britain, during this smog 1.6 million people suffered from asthma attacks and 999 calls increased dramatically with asthma related issues (Mirror, 2014).
Research has also shown that those who are unemployed are more likely to smoke, the reason for this could be due to depression and needing a release, or could be due to the social relationships the keep and conforming to their social peers. The office for national statistics [EF8]has found those who are unemployed are almost twice as likely to smoke as employed people. There[EF9] research states that 39% of unemployed people are smokers, where as only 21% of employed people, or 17% of economically inactive people such as students, smoke (ONS, 2013).
Unemployment can also cause a lot of stress and negative feelings, which may be a reason many smoke to relieve this. These feelings can lead to psychological issues which can be fatal if treatment is not found. Stress can cause chronic problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure (3FC, 2010).
A fulfilling career is vital for a well balanced life, this is explained using the dimensions of health and achieving physical, emotional, intellectual, social, sexual, spiritual and environmental wellness. These dimensions of health all interact together and help determine a person’s quality of life and therefore their health (MDHealth, 2014). Though this is believed to be an important factor in achieving wellness, a portion of the population is unemployed.
Being unemployed will inevitably lead to a lack of money and in the modern world living a healthy lifestyle requires money. Healthy food is found to be the more expensive and families with only a small amount of money are more tempted to buy the cheaper products, which are usually the more unhealthy food items. Money is also needed for some forms of exercising, buying prescriptions and medications to recover from even minor ailments; money is also needed to provide a clean living environment (Naidoo, 2000).
The UK is found to use the medical model in its approach to its healthcare. This model focuses mainly on physical health issues and does not accommodate mental or social problems. The UK health system treats patients quickly in order to help as many people as possible, but this approach does not look at what has determined the injuries or illness. The medical model does not take into account that there are factors that determine society’s health, under the medical model the UK is seen as a whole (UOttawa, No Year).
Even though the health of the population has never been better these gains are not shared equally across society, the wealthy live longer than the poorer. It is because of this the UK is trying to tackle these issues.
A detailed and thorough discussion which makes very good use of statistical evidence & examples with clear links to models/theories/explanations. Excellent!
In conclusion there are a very large number of factors that can affect and determine a person or a group of people’s health. These variables interact with each other in a way that unless a thorough and extensive background check is done, the starting determinant could not be found in an individual case. As stated in the essay[EF10], the UK uses the medical model in its health care approach and although the UK has stated its want to tackle these inequalities in health there will always be a percentage of the population receiving below standard care, whether this is down to poverty, area of residence or education, there will always be an area of the UK suffering from one of these factors.
Clear, constructive and succinct conclusion – overall an excellent piece of work!
Points to take notice of:
- Take care with grammar/tense etc
- Make sure you follow the required format e.g., section titles
BBC, (2014) “Economy Tracker: Unemployment” [online] Available at:<http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10604117> [Accessed – 14, May, 2014]
Deaton, A. (2003) “Health, Income and Inequality” [online] Available at:<http://www.nber.org/reporter/spring03/health.html> [Accessed – 25, April, 2014]
Gregory, A. (2014) “Last gasp: Toxic smog causes 1.6 million to suffer asthma attacks” [online] Available at:<http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/smog-causes-16-million-suffer-3363240> [Accessed – 14, May 2014]
MDHealth, (2014) “Dimensions of Health” [online] Available at:<http://www.md-health.com/Dimensions-Of-Health.html> [Accessed -25, April, 2014]
Naidoo, J. Willis, J. (2000)”Health Promotion” (Second Edition) Harcourt Publishers Limited: London
NSO, (2013) “Unemployed people twice as likely to smoke” [online] Availble at:<http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ghs/opinions-and-lifestyle-survey/smoking-habits-amongst-adults–2012/sty-smoking-trends.html> [Accessed – 14, May, 2014]
UOttawa, (NoYear) “Definitions of health” [online] Available at:<http://www.med.uottawa.ca/sim/data/Health_Definitions_e.htm> [Accessed – 25, April, 2014]
3FC, (2014) “5 ways unemployment affects your health” [online] Available at:<http://www.3fatchicks.com/5-ways-unemployment-affects-your-health/> [Accessed- 25, April, 2014]
WHO, (2014) “The determinants of health” [online] Available at:<http://www.who.int/hia/evidence/doh/en/> [Accessed – 25, April, 2014]
[EF1]Should be ‘Discussion of Findings’
[EF6]?? should ‘if’ be ‘it’?
[EF10]It is a report!
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