Summary of Determinants of Health Status
Economic development positively promotes the health status of the population. The relationship between economic growth and health is non-linear. The shape of the curve indicates that beyond a stage, economic growth does not yield additional benefits to health particularly in terms of its broad indicators like life expectancy. But nutritional contents in the food consumed and health services which can be accessed would influence the health status of population progressively. Poverty and malnutrition are strong determinants of ill health. For attaining better health status of the population, it is important to focus on the female population, particularly on those who are on the fringes of social strata. The approach is aimed at ensuring the development of the foetus while it is still ‘In Utero’.
Failing this, poverty and malnutrition can stifle economic growth and also impose critical burden of diseases. The economic consequences of such a situation can be enormous in terms of health and educational expenditures. QALYs and DALYs are two indicators which have been developed to serve as quantitative indicators of disease burden. There is an indication that with growth and prosperity, both income inequalities and health inequalities will increase. This relationship holds good for both the rich and the poor countries alike. Although this trend gives rise to the view that achieving income equalities is equally essential, the exact relationships and the processes that cause them are far more complex to arrive at a clear conclusion.