The term social determinants of health refer to a wide variety of issues found in certain parts of society. Any political, economic, and cultural issue that affects a person’s health and well-being is considered a social determinant.
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to good healthcare, education, nutritional food, and a safe living environment. That is why it is crucial to realize the dangers of social determinants and what aspects are the most impairing.
Recognizing Social Determinants of Health
Addressing social determinants of health is a fundamental method of attaining health equity. Everyone should have the same chance to achieve their full health potential. Many individuals affected by these determinants are at a disadvantage.
The systematic differences in health within social groups have various underlying socioeconomic issues, which causes a social hierarchy. Poverty, unfair access to health care, a lack of knowledge, and racism are social determinants of health that contribute to unfortunate disparities.
What Are The Main Social Determinants of Health?
- Healthcare: This category includes a person’s access to quality healthcare.
- Financial stability: Financial stability is the relationship between money and health.
- Education: This links a person’s health and access to quality education.
- Social life: This category focuses on how a person lives, works, plays, and learns, as well as how these factors affect their health.
- Homelife: Covers a person’s home, surroundings, and functions in their lives.
Quality Education Can Open New Doors
Whether or not a kid has access to high-quality education throughout their development of life can significantly impact their future living circumstances. That is why it is critical to provide excellent education early on.
An excellent education may offer new doors to future education and job prospects. However, children who originate from low-income families, have impairments, or are subjected to societal prejudice at a young age may struggle in school.
Race and Discrimination Affect Health
Race and discrimination are considered major social determinants of health. Many studies show that discrimination links to other socioeconomic problems.
Even when efforts have been made to reduce determinants, there are still unfortunate outcomes for black and brown individuals through the healthcare system. Recent research suggests the notion of “weathering,” which can significantly influence chronic disease.
Weathering is the concept that long-term exposure to negative situations, such as prejudice, can lead to serious health problems. According to the American Heart Association, those who have experienced discrimination are more prone to develop hypertension.
Housing Plays a Big Role As a Social Determinant of Health
Those concerned about finding a secure place to sleep are not necessarily concerned about their health and well-being. Managing chronic diseases or preventing illnesses is an afterthought when seeking an available homeless shelter.
On top of this, homeless people who have difficulty finding a place to live are more likely to suffer other diseases such as seizures and arthritis. Other illnesses are also common among individuals facing homelessness.
Social Determinants of Health Can Affect Financial Stability
Stability in the economy is critical because it stands as a trusted resource for making healthy lifestyle choices and paying for high-quality medical treatment.
One out of every ten people in the U.S lives in poverty. As a result, those working full-time in low-income areas may not afford high-quality healthcare.
Many studies have found significant differences in health outcomes between nations and groups with various social determinants of health. For example, the life expectancy of persons living in high-income nations is 19 years longer than that of individuals living in low-income countries.
People’s health is greatly influenced by the circumstances in which they are born and live. These factors impact a person’s ability to consume healthy food, get a decent education, live and work in a good environment, and receive healthcare.
As society embraces treatments to address social determinants of health, It will be critical to monitor intervention efficacy among physicians and health care providers. Encouraging patient well-being is the first step in achieving long-term change.