Determinants of Health StatusThe linkage between economic development and health was discussed in the previous unit. The present unit deals with an identification of the factors which determine the health status of a community. What are the conditions which are most conducive to good health? On the other hand, what are the conditions that are most likely to lead to or perpetuate ill health? These two questions are at the centre of the different issues discussed in this unit. Many factors combined together affect the health of individuals and communities. At a basic or fundamental level, the health status of people in a region or location are determined by their circumstances and environment. This would, in turn, depend upon factors like:
(i) the socio-economic conditions of the people in the area; (ii) Physical environment in terms of their living conditions(iii) Individual characteristics and behaviours (which depend on genetical or inborn factors/traits).
At a more specific level, these determinants (i.e. factors which contribute to making people healthy or its opposite) influence the health status in terms of the following.