Economic Inequality And Health

1265 Words6 Pages
There is a general consensus that heath inequalities are caused in two ways: first, by biological and genetic differences, which cannot be changed; and second, by social and economic differences, which can be changed. It is the latter – social and economic differences – that are of concern in this TMA. The social and economic differences that exist between different populations in society, and across the world for that matter, are known as the social and economic determinants of health (hereafter determinants). These determinants – which include gender, ethnicity, education level, housing, occupation/employment, income, the family and/or community, and place of residence – can have a strong impact on a person’s social position. Those in a higher…show more content…
Evidence suggests that there is a positive correlation between economic status and a variety of health outcomes (hereafter outcomes), including but not limited to obesity, life expectancy, and child mortality. These outcomes, in addition to others, can be affected by a person’s economic status. However, they can also be affected by any of the other determinants mentioned, some of which may be tied to economic status. For example, economic status may determine where a person lives, or a person’s ability to study at university level. This may be why it has been received more attention than other…show more content…
The model proposes that: at the core, people have a variety of different characteristics, while; at the first level, there are a range of individual lifestyle factors, which are embedded in and affected; at the second level, by social and community networks, and; at the third level, by living and working conditions, such as work environment, education, agriculture and food production, unemployment, water and sanitation, healthcare services, and housing, which are in turn affected; at the fourth level, by broader socio-economic, cultural, and environmental conditions. As mentioned, one of the key problems with evaluating how health inequalities occur in society is that causation can be difficult to establish. When it seems like there is an obvious cause for any given outcome, the situation is usually more complex. However, the Dahlgren and Whitehead (1993) model permits causation to be tracked back to higher causes – known as ‘the causes of causes’ – and eventually to wider socio-economic, cultural, and environmental conditions in every
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