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Health Policy in the U.S.

Deb Anderson OTA #102789 only

Discuss the impact of health policies on the social factors that help determine health. Site all sources. US sites and sources please.

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I have attached my response for best formatting (also presented below). I referenced all sources and I used mostly US sites as you asked; however, when other sites had relevant US information, I also used these sites. Hopefully, this will be okay with you. Take care.

RESPONSE:

Key Health Determinants

There are many ways to classify health determinants, so what is considered a social factor for some may not be considered a social factor for others. You will have to decide which factors that you consider social (also referred to as non-medical in the healthcare literature) in nature.

1. Income and Social Status
2. Social Support Networks
3. Education and Literacy
4. Employment/Working Conditions
5. Social Environments
6. Physical Environments
7. Personal Health Practices and Coping Skills
8. Healthy Child Development
9. Biology and Genetic Endowment
10. Health Services
11. Gender
12. Culture

From a global perspective, which includes the United States, see article available on-line http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/31/33/2732311.pdf (p. 6) for the social or environmental determinants of health. This author classifies all non-medical determinants of health into three categories: physical environment, life styles and socio-economic factors. Interesting, the author concludes that "although the association between certain [social] risk factors and health have been established by different studies, there is not much evidence on the relative importance of these factors in a global framework" (p.6). Visit the World Health organization for other health indicators http://www3.who.int/whosis/menu.cfm listed by country.

Let's look at one specific social health risks: Homicide

EXAMPLE 1:

Premature mortality (measured in terms of potential years of life lost) halved on average across OECD countries in the past 30 years, due generally to a steep reduction in deaths related to heart diseases. In 2000, premature mortality in the United States remained much higher than the OECD average: 21% higher for men and 34% for women. Premature death from homicides in the United States, for both men and women, is especially high - four times the OECD average. Is this social trend reflected in the American health policy? Is there promotion or prevention policies dealing with safe use of firearms (i.e., education programming and resources)?

EXAMPLE 2:

Tobacco consumption, closely correlated with death from lung cancer, has fallen across many OECD countries over the past two decades. However, obesity rates have been rising in all OECD countries. They have more than doubled over the past twenty years in countries like Australia and the United States and tripled in the United Kingdom. More than 20% of the adult population in Australia and the United Kingdom are obese. In the early 1990s, 23% of adults in the United States were obese. Ten years later, that number was up to 31%. Obesity rates are much lower in Continental Europe, but they are on the rise. The time lag between the onset of obesity and related health problems (such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and asthma) suggests higher health care costs are in store for the future. Health promotion resources address this social issue to some extent, which is reflected in health policy. The evidence based decisions for the health promotion polices comes from research and ...

Solution Summary

Through example, this solution discusses the impact of health policies on the social determinants of health. All sources are sited.

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