The concept of health is one that has had many definitions over the years as individual people can interpret it in many different ways. This is just one definition of health below.
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (1)
This definition of health outlines that having good health not only relies on being free from disease and physically healthy but also have a thriving mental health and fulfilling social life. This definition of health also implies that having infrastructure that can provide access to running water and proper sanitation is also a vital part of maintaining a good bill of health. This is where the idea of public health is implemented.
Public health is “the organised response by society to protect and promote health and to prevent illness, injury and disability.”(2)
Public health tries to reduce or eradicate factors, which would affect a persons health such as risk factors i.e. smoking and to lower the gap of health inequality which is attributed to the social determinants of health. To discuss the social determinants of health in society, it must be first understood exactly what they are. According to the WHO (3) “The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels.” These social determinants of health lead to massive inequalities in health in people between their gender, race, socioeconomic situation and different geographical locations. Social determinants have played a crucial role in our case study of Mr. A. This case study of Mr. A will focus more on the upstream factors i.e. “government policies, and the fundamental determinants of health (i.e. social, physical, economic and environmental).” (4) Than the downstream factors i.e. “physiological systems and biological functioning” (4) that impact Mr. A. as this report tries to understand how Mr. A came to have a myocardial infarction. In the case study of Mr. A we are assuming that:
• His illnesses and afflictions that were present before his myocardial infarction are being controlled or treated by medicine or his GP.
• Mr. A’s obesity is due to genetics as all his extended family are all obese.
• Mr. A. comes from a disadvantaged socioeconomic background.
• Mr. A’s income is average.
• Mr. A’s job is very time-consuming hence the low activity levels.
• Mr. A has high stress levels due to an average income for above average working hours.
Mr. A is a 48-year-old man of Pacific Islander descent. He has no third level education and is married with 2 teenage sons. All his immediate family is obese. Mr. A. works a sedentary office job and does very little physical activity and instead prefers playing online games with his 2 sons as his preferred recreational activity. Mr. A. has a lengthy medical history. He is currently obese...