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Introduction of Social Class And Health Inequalities In The Uk Assignment
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Health is generally associated with the physical well being of the person and is generally correlated with a disease free and fully functioning body. But, the concept of health is Sociology is slightly modified to include all the aspects of life. According to Sociology, health is a state of absolute well-being with a sound mental state, good physical fitness and an emotionally stable mind. It emphasizes the social factors and its consequences and health conditions. This aspect of health is found to be more relevant and hence medical science also considers these factors while dealing with the patients. Medical sociology is a growing branch of interest for physicians and researchers. It outlines or highlights the various social factors on which the health of an individual depends. The major factors also termed as social determinants of health include:
- Income or social status
- Genetic characteristics
- Employment conditions
- Physical surroundings of the individual
- Educational background
- Gender and Age
- Race and ethnicity
Among the above mentioned social determinants of health, social status or economic conditions or the income range of the individual can be considered very crucial in determining the health condition or state of an individual. The social status of an individual tends to affect his or her complete lifestyle. The better social status indicates better health facilities, proper availability of balanced diet, required medical assistance at proper time etc. This point is backed by various studies which highlight the significance of income on health like the report Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF).
Chosen Social Determinant of Health: Impact of Social class on Health Inequalities in the UK
Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy among least and most deprived males in England.
According to various studies, there is an observed social gradient affecting the survival of the individual. This figure indicates that gradient. It extrapolates the effect of social status on the life sustenance of an individual (Bambra et al, 2020). According to the PHOF report, a male from England belonging to the deprived or low social status section of the society is expected to survive 7 to 9 years less than an average male from non-deprived section of the society. Moreover, the males from the most deprived section of the society are expected to sustain nearly 20 years less in the good health segment of their entire life span. For males, living in the 5 most deprived areas of the region are expected to have a diminished average health life expectancy. The northern part of the United Kingdom tends to have more percentage of economically deprived sections of people. In the above mentioned figure IMD or Index of Multiple Deprivation 2015 is a government generated index to measure the sectors of economically deprived people (Manstead, 2018). The average life expectancy in males shows a dramatic variation. The least deprived male individuals tend to have around 70 years of life expectancy in comparison to the 80-85 years range among the males from the least deprived segments of the society. Similarly, the average healthy life expectancy where a person is supposed to live disease free or in absence of any health ailment has a varied range for both the segments of the society with around 70 years for the least deprived and 52 years for the most deprived.
Life Expectancy and healthy life expectancy among least and most deprived females in England.
This artifact provides the similar kind of trends for life expectancy and healthy life expectancy among the most deprived and the least deprived females in the United Kingdom. This artifact is also provided by the Public Health Outcome Framework and is based on the survey between the years 2013 to 2015. It is somewhat observable that the life expectancy of females is considerably higher than males in general configuration (Präg and Richards, 2019). This graph indicates the average life expectancy of a female from the deprived social class of the society to be around 78-79 years in comparison to a life expectancy of around 86-87 years among the females of least deprived segments of the society. However, healthy life expectancy among females is considerably lower than males. And the trend is even more diverse among the least and most deprived segments of the society (Forster et al, 2018). Healthy life expectancy is around 70 years among the least deprived females in the United Kingdom, in comparison to the least deprived segments, where the average age is around 51 years. The graph clearly identifies the sizable gap in the average life expectancy and the average healthy life expectancy as the gap or income equalities tends to increase (Wachtler et al, 2020). The gap can increase upto a whopping 20 years difference in the life expectancy. The degrading health expectancy among women is also responsible for stillbirths, low birth weight, dangerous health ailments in the new born kids etc. This factor is very crucial as it deals with the future generations of the nation. Infant mortality rate also tends to increase exponentially among the most deprived sections of the society.
Impact of risk factors on the health of adults by Deprivation mark
The financial deprivation among the lower social class of people tends to drastically affect their physical health conditions (Byrne et al, 2020). And lack of proper health facilities or the incompetence to afford those health facilities leads to the emergence of various health ailments among the deprived sections of the societ. This artifact again abstracted from the Public Health Outcome Framework provides an overview of the harmful or damaging health practices to be sincerely present among the socially deprived segment of the society in comparison to the least deprived segments of the society. Heavy weight or obesity is a dangerous but inconspicuous health issue that can lead to severe damages. Smoking is also quite prevalent in the lower sections of society as they are neither profoundly aware nor much pay attention to their health condition and its well being (Smith and Anderson, 2018). Healthy diet is a luxury for the socially deprived segments of society. Hence, the resultant premature mortality is quite higher among the adults of the deprived sections of the society.
Low income or lower social status designates lack of a healthy lifestyle, incompetence to acquire required medical help when deemed necessary and a lack of proper balanced diet. Low income also degrades the environment surrounding people as well as lack of proper education or knowledge regarding diseases and their initial symptoms. It also tends to disrupt the mental peace of a human being (Marí-Dell’Olmo et al, 2021). Altogether, the income or social status can be termed as the primary social health determinant affecting the health of an individual. In the United Kingdom, the income differentiation or social-class differentiation among the population is quite persistent and is also visible presumptuously in their health trends. Moreover, the United Kingdom has a geographical bifurcation in terms of the deprivation decile. Female life expectancy similar to male expectancy is higher in the southern part of the country. For example: London has the population with the highest life expectancy. Similarly, the population in the northern part of the country comprises the most deprived section of the society with comparatively low life expectancy rates (Bambra et al, 2021). Health deterioration tends to affect the productivity of the people which in turn possesses a great loss to the productivity of the nation.
This eportfolio indicates the importance and the close interrelationship between the health of an individual and its social and economic conditions. It can be clearly identified that the social determinants have an impactful role in the life span or health of an individual. Studies with respect to the population of the United kingdom provided us with the required facts to justify the relationship. The socially deprived sections of the society most likely residing in the northern regions of the United kingdom are quite prone to health ailments as well as are more drawn towards unhealthy lifestyle and habits. They easily tend to ignore various health issues like being overweight etc which can turn extremely dangerous in the long term. They are more prone towards fatal diseases like cancer, haemoral damages, strokes, heart attacks etc, thereby considerably declining their average life expectancy. In addition to that, the diminished health conditions of females belonging to this section of the society are not able to properly nourish their childs and the results are stillbirths, higher infant mortality rate or higher chances of borne diseases. However, the upper class or the least deprived sections of the society are more aware of their health conditions and are able to take all the required additions to maintain proper health. In cases of acquiring fatal diseases, they are financially able to afford the treatments. Hence, it is clearly observed that income or social class have a defining affect on the health of an individual.
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Bambra, C., Riordan, R., Ford, J. and Matthews, F., 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic and health inequalities. J Epidemiol Community Health, 74(11), pp.964-968.
Byrne, B., Alexander, C., Khan, O., Nazroo, J. and Shankley, W., 2020. Ethnicity, Race and Inequality in the UK: State of the Nation (p. 316).
Forster, T., Kentikelenis, A. and Bambra, C., 2018. Health inequalities in Europe: setting the stage for progressive policy action.
Manstead, A.S., 2018. The psychology of social class: How socioeconomic status impacts thought, feelings, and behaviour. British Journal of Social Psychology, 57(2), pp.267-291.
Marí-Dell’Olmo, M., Gotsens, M., Pasarín, M.I., Rodríguez-Sanz, M., Artazcoz, L., Garcia de Olalla, P., Rius, C. and Borrell, C., 2021. Socioeconomic inequalities in COVID-19 in a european urban area: two waves, two patterns. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(3), p.1256.
Präg, P. and Richards, L., 2019. Intergenerational social mobility and allostatic load in Great Britain. J Epidemiol Community Health, 73(2), pp.100-105.
Smith, K.E. and Anderson, R., 2018. Understanding lay perspectives on socioeconomic health inequalities in Britain: a meta?ethnography. Sociology of Health & Illness, 40(1), pp.146-170.
Wachtler, B., Michalski, N., Nowossadeck, E., Diercke, M., Wahrendorf, M., Santos-Hövener, C., Lampert, T. and Hoebel, J., 2020. Socioeconomic inequalities and COVID-19–A review of the current international literature.