Maybe where a person lives determines their health status. Maybe where a person lives influences the factors that cause disease? In the book “Social Determinates of Health – A Comparative Approach” Alan Davidson states “the extent to which something poses a risk to us depends on our level of susceptibility or our resilience.” Maybe our health depends on the combination of where we live and the choices that we make.
Leah Curtin, RN, ScD(h) FAAN in her article in American Nurse Today (Vol.13, #2) cites the Black Commission which outlines Britain’s National Health Service that found social conditions are important to the health of the population and your level of education relates closely to your disease risk.” If these facts are true, then where we live and what we chose to do with the information that we have does make an impact on our health.
The idea of social determinates focuses on the interrelated conditions and factors that influence the health of a total population over the course of a lifetime. In a greater viewpoint, it is the context in which people live their lives – the availability of everyday social, economic, educational and health resources that are available to the average person, that determines the health of a population.
Could it be that social parity is more influential than individual health habits? Or do the healthy choices that individuals make each day determine the overall health of the neighborhood in which they live? Whatever the answer is, it’s obvious that the context in which a person lives exerts a great influence on their overall health status and possibly their individual life expectancy. Healthy or unhealthy, statistics show that we all have a choice.