Determinants of Health Regarding Chd

Topics: Medicine, Health care, Health Pages: 5 (1541 words) Published: September 19, 2011

Determinants of Health Regarding CHD

John Doe

Walt Whitman University


Determinants of Health Regarding CHD

There are many factors that work to together to influence the health of individuals and society at large. The environment that we live in, our heredity, our habits and behaviors, and our personal relationships help to impact our individual health and wellness. Some indirect factors that influence individual health are educational background and socio-economic status. According to the World Health Organization,”The context of people’s lives determines their health, and so blaming individuals for having poor health or crediting them for good health is in appropriate. Individuals are unlikely to be able to directly control many of the determinants of health.” They are defined as the things that contribute to health or work against it. Starfield (1973) suggested that health status is determined by a confluence of factors that can be classified into four major categories: (1) a person’s individual behaviors, (2) genetic makeup, (3) medical practice, and (4) the environment (Shi & Singh, 2007, p.49). Coronary heart disease and stroke--- the primary types of cardiovascular disease caused by smoking—are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States (Chisolm, 2007, p.34). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (1979) estimated that 50 percent of premature death in the US population was directly related to individual lifestyle and behaviors, 20 percent was attributed to an individual’s inherited genetic profile, and only 10 percent could be ascribed to inadequate access to medical care. The remaining 20 percent of premature mortality could be attributed to social and environmental factors (Shi & Singh, 2007, p.49).


Heart Disease and Determinants of Health

According to the Mayo Clinic,” While cardiovascular disease can refer to many different types of heart or blood vessel problems, the term is often used to mean damage caused to your heart or blood vessels by atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries (or hardening of the arteries). Atherosclerosis is the most common form of cardiovascular heart disease and it’s often caused by an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, being overweight, and smoking. All of these are major risk factors for developing atherosclerosis and, in turn, cardiovascular disease” (Mayo Clinic, 2011). In the text, Delivering Health Care in America, the determinants of health are listed as environment, lifestyle, heredity, and medical care. Environmental factors encompass the physical, socioeconomic, sociopolitical, and sociocultural dimensions (Shi & Singh, 2007, p.51). The relationship of socioeconomic status (SES) to health and well-being may be explained by the general likelihood that people who have better education also have higher incomes. They live in better homes and locations where they are less exposed to environmental risks, have better access to health care, and are more likely to avoid risk behaviors, such as smoking and drug abuse (Shi & Singh, 2007, 51). With relation to lifestyle, studies have shown that diet and foods, for example, play a major role in most of the significant health problems of today. Heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer are but some of the diseases with direct links to dietary choices (Shi & Singh, 2007, p.52). Heredity is a key determinant of health because genetic factors predispose individuals to certain diseases…a person can do little about the genetic makeup one has inherited.

However, lifestyles and behaviors that a person may currently engage in can have significant influences on future progeny (Shi & Singh, 2007, 53). Finally, although medical care is considered to have the least impact on...
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