Addressing Social Determinants of Health Issues
Heart disease and obesity are two of the most common public health issues in the United States. Not being physically active can increase your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The CDC has been working to improve public health by focusing on prevention-based initiatives and education programs. But raw statistics don’t always tell the full story.
Social determinants of health
The environment and social conditions of a person’s life are important for the development of their overall health. Poverty, for example, increases the risk of illnesses and early mortality. It also affects the quality of healthcare and health education. It may also have multigenerational effects. As such, addressing social determinants of health issues is crucial to addressing health inequities.
Traditionally, the health care system has been considered the primary determinant of health. But improving health requires taking a more comprehensive view of social, economic, and environmental factors. To that end, this brief introduces social determinants of health and identifies the factors that affect a person’s health. These factors include socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood, physical environment, employment, and social support networks.
Pre-existing health conditions
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers are not allowed to deny coverage to applicants with pre-existing conditions. These conditions can be obvious or less obvious, such as asthma or high blood pressure. Insurers determine whether a person has a pre-existing condition by assessing their current health status.
Pre-existing health conditions are any health conditions that a person had prior to enrolling in health insurance coverage. A person may have a condition, such as acne or seasonal allergies, that was undiagnosed and undertreated. However, some health issues require expensive treatments or even complete exclusion from coverage, such as cancer.
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), or chronic diseases with no cure, are a global health problem. High rates of these diseases hamper economic development, cause poverty, and burden fragile health systems. Furthermore, they make countries more vulnerable to emergencies, such as disasters and epidemics. Therefore, an integrated approach to addressing NCDs in humanitarian settings is essential.
While these diseases affect everyone, they are more severe in lower and middle-income countries. In 2008, the global disease burden from chronic NCDs was estimated at 85% for industrialized nations, 70% for middle-income nations, and nearly 50% for low-income countries. In addition, over 35 million people died from NCDs in low and middle-income countries.
While it can be difficult to decide which treatment is best for your health issues, there are numerous options available. The first step is to receive an accurate diagnosis from a qualified healthcare provider. Then you can work with a doctor to develop a treatment plan. It is important to discuss potential side effects and costs as well as possible benefits and risks.