How Does Socioeconomic Status Affect Health – The Covid-19 pandemic and the killing of George Floyd, among other recent deaths of black people at the hands of police, have revealed structural and systemic racial inequalities and their effects on the health and well-being of individuals and communities. While these incidents have brought disparities in health and health care to the attention of the media and the public, they are not new. These chronic and persistent health disparities are symptomatic of broader social and economic challenges that include structural and systemic barriers between sectors, including housing, education, employment and the justice system – as well as underlying racism and discrimination. At this critical time for our nation, a greater recognition and understanding of disparities can provide a catalyst for the challenging work needed to address them.
Although recognized and documented over the years, disparities in health and health care persist and, in some cases, have increased over time. Our analysis found that Black and American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) individuals continue to fare worse than Whites on most examined measures of health status, including physical and mental health status; birth accidents; infant mortality rates; HIV and AIDS diagnosis and mortality rates; and prevalence and mortality rates due to certain chronic conditions (Figure 1). For example, the infant mortality rate for black and AIAN individuals is nearly twice the rate for whites. Black teenagers and adults have eight times the rate of HIV diagnosis and almost ten times the rate of AIDS diagnosis compared to their white counterparts; HIV and AIDS diagnosis rates for Hispanic teens and adults are three times higher than for whites.
How Does Socioeconomic Status Affect Health
The disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people of color reflect and exacerbate these broader underlying racial/ethnic health disparities. In most states that report data, cross-state data show that blacks represent a higher percentage of COVID-19-related deaths and cases than their percentage of the population. Similarly, Hispanic individuals represent a greater share of confirmed cases relative to their share of the population in most states reporting data, and there are disproportionate impacts from American Indians or Alaska Natives, Asians, and Native Hawaiians or some other Pacific Islanders. States. The resulting financial crisis also had a disproportionate impact on people of color.
Ways Healthcare Organizations Can Advance Health Equity By Addressing Social Determinants Of Health
Health disparities, including disparities related to COVID-19, are characteristic of broader underlying social and economic inequalities that reflect structural and systemic barriers and biases within sectors. Although health care is essential to health, it is a relatively weak determinant of health. Research shows that the social determinants of health – the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work and age – are the main drivers of health. They include factors such as socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment and social support networks, as well as health care (Figure 2). For example, children born to parents who have not completed secondary education are more likely to live in environments that pose barriers to health, such as lack of security, exposed garbage, and substandard housing. They also have less access to sidewalks, parks or playgrounds, recreation centers, or libraries. Furthermore, evidence shows that stress negatively affects health across the lifespan and that environmental factors have multigenerational effects.
Greater focus and awareness of inequalities can serve as a catalyst for the challenging work required to address them. Actions can be taken within the health care system to help address health disparities. For example, measures to expand health coverage, such as adopting Medicaid expansion for low-income adults in the 14 states that have not yet expanded; increasing access to health care providers; increasing access to linguistically and culturally appropriate care; And diversifying the health care workforce can help reduce health disparities. However, cross-sectoral approaches that go beyond health care to efforts to address health inequities also impact the broader social and economic factors that drive health. For example, actions to increase access to healthy food options and improve food security; improving the comfort and quality of housing; improving educational opportunities; improving the built environment and providing more green spaces and recreational opportunities; And increasing economic security and financial opportunity positively affects health and reduces health disparities. Beyond these factors, any effort will be incomplete if it does not recognize and address racism and discrimination and the long histories of stress and trauma that impact the health of individuals and communities and the way they shape our systems and policies. Such efforts are challenging and complex and require strong leadership, community engagement, resources and cross-sector collaboration to make future progress. Social determinants of health are the age at which people are born, grow, live, work and shape health. This summary provides an overview of the social determinants of health and emerging initiatives to address them. It shows:
Efforts to improve health in the U.S. have traditionally viewed the health care system as the primary driver of health and health outcomes. However, there is growing recognition that improving health and achieving health equity requires broader approaches that address the social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health. This brief provides an overview of these social determinants of health and discusses emerging initiatives to address them.
Social determinants of health are the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age.1 They include factors such as socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment and social support networks, as well as access. to health care. (Figure 1).
What Are The Social Determinants Of Health?
Addressing the social determinants of health is important to improve health and reduce health inequalities. 2 Although health care is essential to health, it is a relatively weak determinant of health. 3 Research shows that health outcomes are enhanced by many factors, including intrinsic. Genetics, health behaviors, social and environmental factors, and health care. Although there is currently no consensus in research regarding the magnitude of the relative contribution of these factors to health, studies suggest that health behaviors such as smoking, diet, and exercise, and social and economic factors are major health drivers. Social and economic outcomes and factors can shape individuals’ health behaviors. For example, children born to parents who have not completed secondary education are more likely to live in environments that pose barriers to health, such as lack of security, exposed garbage, and substandard housing. They also have less access to sidewalks, parks or playgrounds, recreation centers, or libraries. 4 Additionally, evidence shows that stress negatively affects health across the lifespan and that environmental factors have multigenerational effects. 6 Social determinants of health are important not only for improving overall health, but also for reducing health inequities that are often rooted in social and economic disadvantage.
Many initiatives are emerging to address the social determinants of health. Some of these initiatives seek to increase the focus on health in non-health sectors, while others focus on enabling the health system to address broader social and environmental factors that affect health.
Policies and practices in non-health sectors impact health and health equity. For example, the availability and accessibility of public transportation affects access to employment, affordable healthy food, health care, and other important factors of health and well-being. Nutrition programs and policies also promote health, for example, through supporting healthy corner stores in low-income communities, farm-to-school programs, and community and school gardens, and through broader efforts to support the production and consumption of healthy foods. 9 Providing early childhood education to low-income families and children of color can help reduce achievement disparities, improve the health of low-income students, and promote health equity.10
“Health in all policies” is an approach that incorporates health considerations into decision-making in all sectors and policy areas. 11 Health in all approaches recognizes the ways in which decisions in many sectors affect health and how health improvement goals can be supported. In these multiple fields. It involves diverse partners and stakeholders working together to promote health, equity and sustainability while simultaneously promoting other goals such as job creation and economic stability, access to transport and mobility, a stronger agricultural system and better education outcomes. States and regions are leveraging Health in All policies through task forces and working groups to collaborate and prioritize a focus on health and health equity. The Act (ACA) established the National Prevention Council, which brought together senior leaders from 20 federal departments, agencies, and offices, who worked with a prevention advisory group, stakeholders, and the public to develop a national prevention strategy.
Cancer Health Disparities In Racial/ethnic Minorities In The United States
Local initiatives focus on implementing cross-sectoral strategies to improve health in neighborhoods or communities with poor health outcomes. The connection between neighborhoods and health continues to be recognized, with ZIP code being interpreted as a stronger predictor of a person’s health than their genetic code.13
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