What Is Health Determinants and How Are They Related?
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is ‘a condition of full physical, emotional and social well being and not simply the absence of sickness and disease.’ A wide variety of other definitions have also been used over the years for different medical purposes. But the definition of health remains the same throughout: it means the overall quality of life achieved by an individual, and the absence or serious impairment of this quality in any part of life. This quality is balanced between the physical, physiological aspects and the psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects of a person’s life.
As defined in the United States Department of Health and Human Services definition, health refers to the well being of an individual and his or her family. The term population health, on the other hand, refers to the overall well being of a population. The goal of public health and medical care is to promote healthy living through a system of preventative measures, public education, community prevention programs, support for healthy lifestyles, and treatment of people who are afflicted with disease. These three components work together to provide a comprehensive approach to health and the prevention of disease. In addition to treating diseases, treating the persons who are affected by them, and promoting healthy environments, health care professionals work to improve the quality of life for all of the citizens of a country.
Many people confuse what good health means because they often apply it to a binary state: either you are healthy or you’re not. However, wellness encompasses many important concepts that go beyond the binary nature of the condition. One of these concepts is determinants of health, which are scientifically understood biological processes that influence an individual’s chances of staying healthy or developing health problems. Another concept related to determinants of health is the contribution of genetics to health, which is the idea that genetic differences account for why some people are more likely to develop certain diseases than others. Finally, another concept associated with the study of health and well-being is the practice of preventative medicine, which aims to ensure that all individuals can attain optimal well-being through early detection and preventive care.