Social and Economic Determinants of Health
The major determinants of health status are economic and social in origin.
The Black Report – major influential publication on the impact of socio-economic factors on health.
Studies have shown an association between income and health status and is widely believed to be one of the key socioeconomic variables that influence health status.
Mechanisms linking low income to poor health include:
• unsafe overcrowded housing increase in number of accidents and disease transmission
• poor quality diet
• lack of money fro health care and transport to access health care
• stress disorder from lack of incomes
Substantial evidence is available that poor health status is associated with a low level of education.
Link is two way:
• low level of education poorer health
• poorer health lower level of education
Education can be a measure of socioeconomic status, so is correlated to income and occupation, so the reasons fro the correlation/association between education and health status may be mediated via other variables.
A certain level of literacy or education is needed to have the ability to gain more knowledge, such as access to health information. Those with lower levels of literacy are more likely to have unhealthy lifestyle practices (eg smoking).