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What Are Determinants Of Health?

Numerous theories related to assigning the determinants of health have been proposed over the past several decades. Blum (1974) offered a framework called Force Field and Well-Being Paradigms of Health, which suggests four major influences—the force fields—on health: environment, lifestyle, heredity, and medical care. According to Blum, the most important force field is the environment, followed by lifestyle and heredity; medical care has the least impact on health and well-being.
More recent models focus on socioeconomic context and health behaviors. For example, the Dahlgren and Whitehead (2006) model divides factors that influence health into two categories. The first category, “fixed factors,” are unchangeable, such as age, sex, and genetic makeup. The second category is composed of modifiable factors, such as individual lifestyle choices; social networks and community conditions; the environment in which one lives and works; and access to important goods and services, such as education,sanitation, food, and healthcare. The factors in the second category form layers around the population, and modifying them positively can improve population health.
Ansari and colleagues (2003) propose a public health model of the determinants of health in which these factors are categorized into four major groups: social determinants, healthcare system attributes, disease-inducing behaviors, and health outcomes.

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Dr. Arthur

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