Determinants of Health

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Determinants of Health

Introduction

Many factors combine together to affect the health of individuals and communities. Whether people are healthy or not, is determined by their circumstances and environment. The determinants of health include: the social and economic environment, the physical environment, and the person’s individual characteristics and behaviours. The context of people’s lives determines their health, and so blaming individuals for having poor health or crediting them for good health is inappropriate. Determinants of Health

External

_ Economic -income

_ Social and physical

environment

_ Housing

_ Employment

/working conditions

_ Social support

networks

Internal

_ Age, Gender,

Culture

_ Healthy child

development

_ Education

_ Hereditary factors

_ Lifestyle choices

_ Coping skills Individuals are unlikely to be able to directly control many of the determinants of health. Along with these factors there are many other factors that determine health: •
Education – low education levels are linked with poor health, more stress and lower self-confidence.


Physical environment – safe water and clean air, healthy workplaces, safe houses, communities and roads all contribute to good health.


Employment and working conditions – people in employment are healthier, particularly those who have more control over their working conditions


Social support networks – greater support from families, friends and communities is linked to better health.


Culture - customs and traditions, and the beliefs of the family and community all affect health.


Genetics - inheritance plays a part in determining lifespan, healthiness and the likelihood of developing certain illnesses.


Personal behaviour and coping skills – balanced eating, keeping active, smoking, drinking, and how we deal with life’s stresses and challenges all affect health.


Health services - access and use of...
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