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The Social Determinants Of Health Contribution To Mr. A’s Myocardial Infarction

1654 words - 7 pages

“The health of individuals and populations is influenced and determined by many factors acting in various combinations. Healthiness, disease, disability and, ultimately, death are seen as the result of … human biology, lifestyle and environmental (e.g. social) factors…” (Mary Louise Fleming, 2009) There are many unchangeable contributing factors that play a role in a person’s health condition, this can be anything from the gender and location that they were born into, to genetic impairments and the lifestyle that their parents raised them in or even government policies; but for as many unchangeable factors, there are also changeable factors. In Mr. A’s case he was born from Pacific Islander descent, therefore it can be assumed that he was born into an obese family with little money, and was raised in poorer living conditions than the average Australian. Due to this, his health is expected to be worse that the average Australian because his social determinants make it so. He is now a full-grown man with a family, but still lives in problematic conditions due to his upbringing and culture along with the minimal to no levels of prevention shown. There are many risk factors that have affected Mr. A’s health due to the social determinants that he has been faced with such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, etc. There are also upstream and downstream factors affecting his health, “While upstream and midstream determinants influence the type, likelihood, number and severity of diseases that affect a person, downstream inequities come into play when a person becomes ill.” (AMA, 2007). These factors have had a major role in the result of his heart attack. Finally, his level of prevention exhibited is a key aspect on how much of an effect the social determinants of health have in regards to his health. Social determinants of health can have an immense affect on an individual’s health if they allow it to do so. Mr. A was born into, and brought up in, a culture where the social determinants of health have a lower outcome that that of the average Australian.

Mr. A has several risk factors that all have a negative impact on his health. Genetically he is from Pacific Islander descent, which according to the Stanford study on Health and Health Care of
Elders from
Native Hawaiian and 
Other Pacific Islander Backgrounds “the major health problems are those of obesity, Type II diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and their resulting cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases” (Gilbert Wergowske, 2001) Mr. A also lives a sedentary lifestyle with low levels of physical activity, and works in an office at a desk job earning an average income. These are more factors that increase his risk of obesity, which in turn increase his risk for type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. Mr. A is morbidly obese, weighing in at 168kg with a BMI of 50.1. This is a major risk to his health with all kinds of secondary effects arising from his obesity. His wife...

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