Social determinants of health:

  • There is a strong association between higher levels of social economic status (SES) and good health.
  • Conversely, individuals of lower SES have increased exposure to stress, psychological distress and negative behavioral effects which in turn increases the risk for social-determinants-health-diagram-85688364many diseases.
  • Thus, SES differences among racial groups account for a substantial fraction of the disparities in health among different ethnic and racial groups.
  • We need better schools, safer neighborhoods, access to quality health care, higher minimum wages in order to improve health for minority populations who are disproportionately affected by lower levels of SES.
  • (Excerpts from Health Outcomes in a Foreign Land- A role for epigenomic and environmental interaction/ Springer.com)

Importance of health literacy

 

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  • Health literacy addresses communications that are related to health issues, such as the ability to understand medication prescription, guidelines for preventative health measures and screening and how to navigate the healthcare system including access information to health insurance plans, medicare and so forth……..
  • Limited health literacy disproportionally affect minority populations, low income families, elderly and migrants for whom English maybe second language.
  • Limited health literacy is significantly associated with higher risk of disease incidence and mortality rates seen in minority and low-income populations.
  • We need support programs in our local communities to help reduce the negative effects of limited health literacy.