Different Determinants of Health

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  • Level: High school
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Question :

This assessment will cover the following questions:

  • Define health inequalities and equalities and how it influences the behaviour of the individual.
  • What are the three determinants of health and its implications for health at individual and at whole society.
  • What are the factors that influences the health status as well as social aspect of health?
  • Identify the determinants of health, health equality, health inequality and briefly explain with the help of example.  
Answer :


Determinants of Health refers to the variety of factors that impacts health state of individuals or groups. It includes social, behavioural, biological, economic and physical determinants that influence the health of people adversely (Adler, Glymour and Fielding, 2016). Health inequities are characterised as the systematic differences in status of health of different groups of population. This report covers the concept of health and health inequality along with different determinants of health. The ill effects of smoking, disability and bad housing condition are determined. Apart from this, the facts and figures associated with determinants in context of UK and government strategies, policies or laws to minimise those are included in this report.


The Way Different Determinants of Health Influence on Individual and Community Health

Health is defined as the state of complete emotional, mental, social and physical well being, not simply the absence of infirmity or disease. It is not merely the disease absence, but the capability of an individual to recover and bounce back from ill health or other issues (What is good health?, 2020). Genetics, relationships, education and environment are the factors that includes in good health. In the wider society, it is the resource to support the function of an individual. Health is the capability of body to adapt with new infirmities and threats. The health of an individual can be impacted by cultural factors. For instance: around the Mediterranean, individuals are more likely to intake high level of olive, vegetables and fruits and to eat as a family, in comparison to cultures with high intake of fast food. Apart from this, the health is also impacted by the way an individual manages stress. People who; takes drugs, smoke or drink in order to forget their problems or difficulties in life are likely to have more problems associated with health, as compared to people who combats by exercise and healthful diet (Ahnquist,; Wamala and Lindstrom, 2012).

Health equity

Health equity refers to the differences in state of health or in distribution of resources associated with health between distinct population groups that arises from the condition in which individuals are born, grow, work and live. There are numerous evidence that social forces have a marked impact on health of a person. These including income level, education, gender, employment status and ethnicity (10 facts on health inequities and their causes, 2017). These have significant economic and social costs to; both people as well as; society. For instance: In countries with low income, the average expectancy of life is 62 years, whereas in nations with high income, it is 81 years. A baby born in Japan is expected to live for 84 years, while in Sierra Leone can expect to survive; for 50 years. The another example of health inequity includes maternal mortality that depicts wide gap between poor and rich people in countries (Allen, Balfour, Bell and Marmot, 2014). Developing nations account for around 99 percent of yearly maternal deaths across the world. In Sweden, the women has a death risk of less then 1 in 10,000, while the risk in; Chad is 1 in 16.

Health inequality

Health inequity refers to the unavoidable and unjust differences in health of people between particular people groups and across the population. In inequalities in health go in opposition to the social justice principles as the are avoidable. These do not occur by chance, but are socially identified by situations largely beyond the control of an individual (What are health inequalities?, 2020). These circumstances impacts on health of individuals and lower down their chances to live healthy and long life. The prime cause of health inequalities are unlike distribution of power, wealth and income which can lead to marginalisation of; groups and poverty. For instance: In Scotland, a women experience 22.6 more years of good health and a men experience 23.8 much years in the most affluent areas in comparison to the deprived areas. Apart from this, violence based on gender is experienced unequally, with 7 percent of men and 17% of women having experienced the utilization of force from ex-partner or partner at some point in life. In United Kingdom, the data of; 2017 depicts that the life expectancy at birth has reached 83.2 years for females and 79.6 years for males (Inequalities in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, 2018).


Lifestyle refers to the way an individual lives his/her life, including attitudes, possessions and style. It is also defines as the behaviours, opinion, interests and behavioural orientations of; people or culture. It is the combination of deciding tangible or intangible forces. Demographic variables are specifically included in tangible factors, i.e., demographic profile of an individual, while intangible forces associated with psychological aspects of a person like personal preferences, outlooks and values. Thus, lifestyle is a way of shaping a sense of self and develop cultural signs that go with personal identity of an individual. In last decades, the expectancy of life has increased constantly and transmutation from infectious to degenerative diseases has developed new health problems related to lifestyle (Embrett and Randall, 2014). Therefore, the conditions have transformed and the diseases which are; chronic and non-communicable have become a burden in developing and developed nation.


Smoking is one of the lifestyle based determinant that impacts the; health of an individual adversely. It is an addictive practice in which a substance is burned the smoke resulted to it is breathed in and absorbed in bloodstream of an individual. From hundred of years, tobacco has been smoked, chewed and sniffed by people which makes them addictive to it. There are different reasons for which people start smoking (Gottlieb and et. al., 2015). Some starts as their friends or family members smoke and others thinks that it looks cool. It harms nearly each organ of body, and cause many diseases by damaging airways and air sacs found in lungs. In United Kingdom, it is estimated that around 78,000 people die each year due to smoking.

(Source: Smoking Prevalence in Adults in England - Trend in Current Smokers, 2108)

The above statistics shows the prevalence of smoking in England is fall continuously. In year 2017, 14.9 % adults smoke which falls down to 14.4%, that means a drop of around 175,000. It depicts that the rate of smoking prevalence goes down by almost a quarter 5 years ago from 19.3% (Turning the tide on tobacco: Smoking in England hits a new low, 2018). There are still some groups where the rate of smoking remains obdurately high, despite of efforts to minimise inequalities. Among 18 to 24 years old, smoking has fallen speedily, but of specific concern is 1.4 million people aged with 25 to 34 years who smoke. Tobacco smoking is the greatest cause of illness and death in the world. It increases the risk of developing serious health; conditions. In order to minimise smoking habit of people, government of England prepares Tobacco control plan for year 2017-22. This plan emphasize on reducing the prevalence of smoke among teenagers and adults and inequality gap in England. In this, some key programmes are developed by government in which access to training is; provided to all health professionals regarding smoking cessation in order to support; smokers to quit smoking. Apart from this, government restricts the promotion of tobacco in; United Kingdom (Reduce tobacco promotion, 2019). For instance: sponsorship and advertising is banned, ban on tobacco product's display on shops etc.

Biological determinants of health

Biological determinants of health includes body functioning, structure and genetics that impacts the health of an individual. These factors may be classified as exogenous and endogenous. Immunity and genetic heritage includes in endogenous biological determinants which are acquired from maternal antibodies transmitted in mother's milk or passed across the placenta. Exogenous determinants includes living things with which people interacts like microorganisms which creates ill effects on  health of individuals. Disability is one among the biological determinants of health. It is an issue that directly influence a significant; proportion of people in United Kingdom. A disabled person is an individual who has a mental or physical impairment which has a long term and substantial negative impact on ability to perform daily routine activities (Greenwood, De Leeuw, Lindsay and Reading, 2015). They are often not able to fulfil social obligation and role because of restrictions set by impairment.

 According to the data of government, there are around 13.3 million people in UK who are disabled which depicts that they are now make up 22 percent of United Kingdom's population (People with disabilities, 2018). Disability highly impacts on people as well as community. People with disabilities may face many issues in getting employment and people may not treat them well in society. Approximately 10 million individuals in the nation are suffered with hearing loss, 2 million with sight issues, 17% are born with disabilities. In year 2016, the employment rate; among disabled population was 46.5%. Negative attitudes based on stereotype or prejudice stop disabled persons from having; equal opportunities. In order to provide equal opportunities to; disabled people, government of UK formulated various laws and; policies (Hertzman, Frank and Evans, 2017). For instance: Equality Act, 2010 according to which it is necessary for organisations to treat disabled people equally and provide them with equal opportunities. This act provides various rights to individual with disability like education, access to good facilities etc. Apart from this, government spend over 50 billion pounds in order to provide support to disabled people (Kickbusch and Gleicher, 2012).

Bad housing condition

Bad housing condition is associated with wider health conditions like injuries, respiratory infections, injuries, lead poisoning, asthma, mental health etc. Lack of maintenance of housing leads to poor conditions inside the home. These conditions harm health of; individuals by maximizing exposure to hazards like lead in paint, carbon monoxide and allergens. These may cause neurological impairment, heart damage and death. The behaviour and health of children may impacted by exposure to low level of leads. Families with low income are more likely to live in poor housing conditions which; can damage their health. The homes which are under insulated, cost more to heat and lack air conditioning leads to poor health outcomes. For instance: living in cold home may lead to increase blood pressure and maximize the risk of heart attack. In United Kingdom, around 3 in 10 people live in poor housing conditions. More than 975,000 children are living in social rented housing, 845,000 in private rented housing and 1.7 million in owner occupied housing (People living in bad housing - numbers and health impacts, 2020).

In England, more than 8 million individuals are living in poor housing. A study depicts that 3.6 million individuals live in overcrowded homes, 1.4 million are living in poor conditions, 2.5 million can not afford house and similar number of people are living with relatives or parents against their wish (More than 8 million people in England living in unsuitable housing, 2020). In order to minimise the issue of bad housing condition of people and improve their living standard, the government of; country develop affordable home for people and provide them in low rates. Apart from this, they cracked down on scalawag landlords, banned capped; deposits and unfair fees and saves 240 million pounds a year to ensure secure and safe housing for millions (Kickbusch, 2015).

Also read - Effect Of Cultural Values on Patient's Health


As per the above mentioned report, it has been concluded that health is a very crucial aspect that needs to be consider; by every individual in order to ensure healthy life. It is the positive concept which emphasize on personal and social resources, along with physical capabilities. There are various determinants of health like lifestyle, biological, physical etc. that put adverse impact on health of population. Smoking lead an individual to various serious issues like lung disease, cancer etc. Moreover, poor; housing condition and disability also influence the life of individual. In order to ensure healthy life of people, government put various efforts and implement various strategies and policies to improve health of people.


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