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Healthcare Essay on Determinants of Health


Healthcare Assignment Instructions: This is a written essay. You should discuss and explain how different determinants- biological, environmental and social determinants of health impact on individual and community health using facts and relevant examples. You must use one example from each- broad determinant (biological, environmental and social) and describe it thoroughly.


The healthcare assignment discusses the determinants of health and their influence on the wellbeing of people. The essay discusses the broad types of determinants like biological, environmental and social. The essay discusses the differences between health inequality and inequity and the determinants of each chosen category. The essay evaluates how the different determinants hamper or influences health differently in different groups i.e. ethnic group, sexual preference, gender, poor vs. rich, and age groups. The essay discusses the inequality and equity issues related to each specific determinant of health. The essay discusses how different public health interventions could be used to improve health and well-being for each determinant. The essay discusses the theory of health and different health promotion theories for health improvement. The essay will help to understand how human health can be managed and by using certain specific things and could bring a new change in the medical sciences.

Determinants of health are a variety of factors that could hamper the health of people. This is also defined as the reflection of the condition of the environment by which human beings are born, lived, play, and learn, work and age. Many factors hamper the health of the people and the communities and are mostly determined by the circumstances and their living environment. To a very large extent, the determinants of health include where do people live and they come from, their education level, income, genetics, the environmental state and the relationships of the individual with their families and friends (World Health Organization, 2017). To know about the disease and its effects education is the significant thing that is required for the people that helps them to be aware of the diseases that they were unaware of. The amount of money also plays a vital role in maintaining the good health of the people. If people do not have the surplus money that is required for good treatment then it would affect their health in some way. The people where they came from and where do they live also affects their health (World Health Organization, 2017). If people live in a bad environment area where society does not take care of the safety and clean management of the people then there occur several things that hamper their health. In the case of genetics, some diseases had occurred in the times of the old families of the same ancestors and due to the same genetics, it would follow the diseases to their offspring’s. Therefore, if the physical and internal strength of that offspring is not strong enough to fight the disease then it would hamper their health. The relationship with the families also plays a significant role in maintaining the good health of the people. A good relationship helps to reduce anxiety and mental trauma and comfortability as well. Therefore, a lack of good relationships would give rise to these problems and might increase the health problem.

Health inequality and equity
Health inequality refers to the health differences of individuals or people. This is also defined as the differences in the health of the people that are arising from the different status and their social conditions as well. This could be mitigated by implementing the proper government policies in these things. For example, Indigenous Australians life expectancy is around 17 years lower in rate than the non-indigenous Australians and this indicates the increase in the death rate (NHS Health Scotland, 2019).

Health equity is defined as providing equal opportunity and treatment to every people for better health outcomes. However, this could be affected by the rise in discrimination and the lack of resources available in certain areas. This could help in improving the health of the individuals or people by providing equal treatment. For example, the Australian government is focusing on providing health equities to the indigenous or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for better health treatment (Braveman et al., 2017).

Overview of the broad types of determinants Biological
Biological determinants are defined as the characteristics of a person or individual that contains the biological backgrounds of the ancestors including health status, genetics, sex, and ethnicity and age etc. It is mostly defined by the physical activities of the person and how they react or handle the situation and this states their biological determinants (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2020).

Social determinants are the outer factors that affect the health of people or individuals. This includes where they are coming from and they live, their age, diet and work. These factors also include education, money, unemployment, food and job insecurity, childhood development etc. The social determinant is the significant factor for improving the health of the people and it has also been reported that 30-55 per cent of the health outcomes are accounted for social determinants (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2020).

An environmental determinant includes the health of the people in local, national, regional and in the global region that could hamper the health of people in various biological, social, physical. Sustainment of the environment determinant improves the health of the people massively and it also improves the mental health, behaviour and mood of people indirectly. As per the WHO report, 83 million population still does not have proper sanitation systems and around 28 million population dos not have the accessibility to safe drinking water (World Health Organization, 2019).

Describe each specific determinant from each broad category
Biological determinant of health- Genetics

In biological determinants of health, it describes and defines the characteristics of the people that include age, sex, genetics, health status and ethnicity. These factors play a significant role in the improvement of the well-being of human health. In this factor genetics is the integral thing that carries the characters, diseases and genes of the ancestors and carries it to off-springs (Hernandez and Blazer, 2016). Therefore, the government has taken several good initiatives and medical facilities to mitigate the biological determinants of health that has been occurred by genetics. As to WHO reports, in 2019 nearly 17.9 million people died from cardiovascular disease where 85% were from heart attack and stroke (WHO, 2021).

Social determinant of health- Diet
Social determinants are the outer factors that affect the health of the people and is mostly by age, diet, sex and the place where they come from. In this factor diet is the significant thing that could hamper or improve the health of the people. Nutritious food is considered the vital social determinant of health that directly impacts the well-being of people or individuals. People who face a shortage of nutritious food tend to decrease the improvement in their education in various parts of the world (ahip, 2018). Therefore, various organizations and governments are running food security and awareness programs to educate them regarding the significance of nutritious food. According to the global hunger index report 2020, nearly 516.5 million people are suffering from hunger and are malnourished in Asia and the Pacific area and around 239 million people are malnourished living in Sub- Saharan Africa (M. Szmigiera, 2019).

Environmental determinant of health- Air pollution
Environmental determinant of health describes the health of the local regional, national and global region. A good environment in the society or its sustainment could improve the health of the people or population. The pollution in the air is also tremendously affecting the health of the individual and most of the people in the global region has suffered from lung cancer, heart diseases and stroke (Mackenzie, 2016). Globally, due to pollution in the air 25% of the death are being caused by lung cancer disease. According to UNICEF, regular breathing in the air polluted area could damage the brain tissues and could lead to death. Therefore, certain policies such as the pollution prevention act (PPA) and the clean air act (CAA) has been regulated to reduce air pollution globally and to improve the health of the people (WHO, 2019).

Defining how each determinant might influence differently in different groups
Ethnic groups:
The genetic transmission of diseases that has been occurred in the ancestors are most likely to reappear in times of offspring’s. This transmission of characters and diseases influences the health of the ethnic groups. In terms of diet, if the ethnic people do not take any nutritious foods then it would lead them to get sick and this also influences their health. Air pollution may affect their health tremendously, as the emission of toxic pollutants may enter their internal bodies and can give rise to diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease and brain tissues damage.

Gender: Genetics carries the character of the ancestors and diseases as well and as per the report most heart diseases are likely to get involved in women most probably 10- 15 years later than men. Diet also influences gender and according to the report, women tends to have more nutritional beliefs than men. Air pollution affects the performance of the workers and it significantly hampers the health of both genders and it also leads to damage of brain tissues and other diseases.

Poor vs. rich: It has been reported that children of higher socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to get influenced by genetics than the of lower socio-economic backgrounds. The Northwestern economist stated that genetic backgrounds influence the development of poor versus rich but has not found any real pieces of evidence. The poor people eat the diets that have been provided and the rich people look for getting a nutritious rich diet for proper healthy living. Air pollution also influences the well-being of the poor and rich people equally. The difference is poor people take time to get good treatment and rich people does not.

Inequality and Equity related to each specific determinant
Genetic determinant specifically relates to the inequality of the health as people have different characteristics and they might have a disease that is being carried from the ancestors. Diet also relates directly to inequality as people from different social communities have different living and eating preferences. Air pollution also has a relation to the inequality of health, people who reside or lives in a low clean and environment maintenance area does have a greater impact on health. People living in a good environmentally clean area does have a good impact on their health. Therefore, inequality treatment should be mitigated and equality should be served (Farrelly, 2004).

Genetic determinant contains different characteristics and behaviours and diseases as well. Therefore, the government should take some initiatives or policies to mitigate the transmission of diseases from the ancestors for better health outcomes. Diet should be provided equally to every citizen for better health outcomes and foster healthy living. Equity is related to the diet as the government and other organizations work in providing nutritious food to the people for a better outcome. Air pollution influences the people of the different communities equally and is linked to equity as well (Farrelly, 2004). The people should use some measures to mitigate the air pollution by emitting low toxic things into the environment.

Discuss different public health interventions used to improve health and well-being for each specific determinant you are writing
The public health interventions used to improve health and wellbeing for each specific determinant are for genetics the government and the other organizations have taken some good initiatives such as new technological equipment are being used for better genetic health treatment. The R&D of the medical sciences are taking initiatives to mitigate genetic diseases. For diet management, the government and organizations are working on food awareness programs for providing education on nutritious foods. In terms of air pollution, the government and organizations have taken some good steps to reduce air pollution that has been emitted from vehicles, industries etc. Therefore, the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) and Clean Air Act (CAA) has been implemented to reduce air pollution.

Theories of health and different health promotion theories
The Health Belief Model

The health belief model is the significant theory that is used to guide people for good health promotion. The model defines the health behaviour of the person when they are sick and looking for treatment. This allows making an effective decision that could influence health positively. Collecting the relevant data from the patient by conducting health programs and communicating with them to know the exact disease (Rural Health Information Hub, 2018).

Social Cognitive Theory
This theory states the actions and behaviours of the individual is related to health. This helps to analyze and brings opportunity by observing their actions and behaviour change. This gives the practitioner to handle the patient by understanding their behaviours and handling accordingly. This allows providing support to society by self-controlling and determining the behaviour change outcomes (Rural Health Information Hub, 2019).

Determinants of health are the significant things that could help a person or individual to know by which things the individual's health could get hampered. The biological, social and the environmental determinants are the significant factor that influences the health of the person. Genetic, diet and air pollution are also the specific things that influence the health of people. The inequality of treatment should be reduced and equity of health should be implemented so people could know the health benefits and can live a healthy life. The specific determinants also influence gender, sexual preferences, ethnic groups and poor vs rich. The health belief model and the Social-cognitive model helps to understand how to handle health and educate people about health awareness. The government should take certain initiatives to mitigate those genetic, diet and air pollution for better healthy living.

ahip (2018). KEY TAKEAWAYS Access to Healthy Foods: Social Determinants of Health ISSUE BRIEF. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].

Braveman, P., Arkin, E., Orleans, T., Proctor, D. and Plough, A. (2017). What Is Health Equity? And What Difference Does a Definition Make? [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].

Farrelly, C. (2004). Genes and equality. Journal of Medical Ethics, [online] 30(6), pp.587–592. Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].

Hernandez, L.M. and Blazer, D.G. (2016). Genetics and Health. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].

M. Szmigiera (2019). Global Hunger Index 2019: countries most affected by hunger | Statista. [online] Statista. Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].

Mackenzie, J. (2016). Air Pollution: Everything You Need to Know. [online] NRDC. Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].

NHS Health Scotland (2019). What are health inequalities? [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (2020). Determinants of Health | Healthy People 2020. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].

Rural Health Information Hub (2018). The Health Belief Model - Rural Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Toolkit. Healthcare assignment [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].

Rural Health Information Hub (2019). Social Cognitive Theory Model - Rural Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Toolkit. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].

WHO (2019). Air pollution. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].

WHO (2021). Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].

World Health Organization (2017). Determinants of health. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].

World Health Organization (2019). 1 in 3 people globally do not have access to safe drinking water – UNICEF, WHO. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].


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