10 Social Determinants of Health Influence the Overall Well being

Social determinants are different conditions where people take birth, grow up, live, perform, and become old. The interrelated and complex economic system and social structure build these conditions. The social determinants of health consider different angles of the physical environment.

The different angle of physical environments is the transportation system, products created and modified by people, place of residing, build environment, crowding condition, etc.

Health services (insurance status, access to the quality care) and social environment (education level, discrimination income, marital status, etc.) are also important social determinants.

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The social determinants of health are bonded with low resources and opportunities to maintain, protect, and improve health.

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These factors cause inequities in health aspects. This inequity refers to the avoidable and unfair distinctions of the health status among the population.

Proper awareness programs, actions, and engagements will impact the aspects to improve the overall health of maximum people.

Examples of social determinants – 

  • Accessibility to the health-care service
  • Availability of the daily and basic requirements
  • Accessibility to job opportunities, education and economic
  • Public safety
  • Opportunities for leisure-time and recreational activities
  • Availability of community-based living resources
  • Transportation option
  • Social attitude and norm
  • Social support
  • Residential segregation
  • Exposure to social disorder, violence, and crime
  • Community and housing design
  • Socio-economic condition
  • Culture
  • Literacy/language
  • Access to emerging technologies and mass media

Top 5 Social determinants are – 

  1. Education
  2. Economic stability
  3. Health care and health
  4. Community and social context
  5. Built environment and neighborhood

Each of these determinants further depends on the following focal points.

I. Education

  • Higher education
  • Language and literacy
  • Early childhood development and education
  • Graduation (High-school)

II. Economic stability

  • Food insecurity
  • Poverty
  • Housing instability
  • Employment

III. Health care and health

  • Health literacy
  • Basic health care accessibility
  • Overall health care accessibility

IV. Community and social context

  • Discrimination
  • Social cohesion
  • Incarceration
  • Civic participation

V. Built environment and neighborhood

  • Housing quality
  • Environmental condition
  • Violence and crime
  • Healthy food and eating pattern accessibility

How These 10 social determinants of health influence people’s wellbeing?

1. Education:

A higher level of education reduces the death risk by 1.8% in the next 5-years of time. This fact was stated by NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research).

Following the graduation from school and pursuing a degree from college will lower the risk of cardiac arrest by 2 percent or more and diabetes by 1%.

Social determinants influence multiple dimensions of health. It impacts in a chain structure. E.g. income impacts the selection of neighborhood, that impacts the school selection, and that impacts the education.

Along with this, children who get proper nurturing commonly get effective support to complete the homework and classwork.

Thus, schools and education become their priorities. Exercise, health, and diet are important aspects of comprehensive education.

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2. Race:

Ethnicity, medical, and race can impact patients. Different researches on diabetes showed bitter results in medical complications like blood pressure, cholesterol level, and blood sugar.

These impacts are worse in the case of Asian-Americans, African-Americans, and Latinos compared to the whites.

Breast cancer is biologically aggressive within the African-American population. Thus, the mortality rate is also higher for African-Americans than white people.

This higher intensity of breast cancer is influenced by several factors such as inefficient cancer screening process, inadequate insurance, and lower incomes.

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3. Family:

Strong bonding within the family proved as a strong factor in the better health of those family members.

The people who believe the culture of family bonding, have better and sound mental health than isolated persons.

Caring parents and extended family members such as cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles support the children to feel confident, secure, safe, and loved.

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3. Marital status:

Cancer patients get extended life by getting married. Research on ethnic and racial disparities within cancer survivals.

The victims of lung, breast, colon, and prostate cancer get an additional lifespan (18% among men and 14% among women).

Earlier research was held on thyroid cancer and showed a worse rate of survival among divorced and widowed patients. This rate was determined by comparing with the married patients.

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4. Childhood care:

Childhood care is extremely essential for sound health throughout life. Children often suffer from improper weight and height gain according to their ages. These children often become the victim of the failure of persistent growth, learning disorder, motor skills, and impaired languages.

That is why large numbers of health care organizations and hospitals provide their assistance to these children and their parents.

They offer nutritional, social, medicinal, and developmental support services to the children and their parents. These efforts assist the children in becoming healthier as much as possible.

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5. Insurance:

Health insurance facilitates the accessibility of health care. This health insurance provides easy access to the older who are surviving on their pensions and the lower-income segment.

The senior citizen can get better treatments at lower costs than they can afford. Other than these segments of the society, the children gate routine check-ups, vision care, dental care, vaccinations, emergency services, hospital care, and prescription.

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6. Housing:

Unstable housing shows a negative impact on the mind and body of the individual.

When you focus to find and secure a better residential, medical care becomes neglected. In such cases, people often ignore health insurance also. That meets the lower medical needs.

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7. Income:

Physical well-being and economic well-being are always interrelated. It is believed that higher income level lowers the level of premature death and critical diseases. This is dependent on the accumulated wealth of a person than the yearly income.

Household income also impacts an individual’s health. The rich people feel relaxed than the others. A higher level of income gives a feeling of mental peace and thus rich people stay physically fit usually.

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8. Environment:

If you select a home in a smoggy city. Then you need to be prepared to get a supply of contaminated (lead) water.

The environmental hazard impacts significantly on the health of children. Allergies and asthma weaken the breathing quality and capacities of the children. They feel difficulties while breathing in dirty air and clouds of dust.

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As the water is coming from the lead-coated pipe or the wall color contains lead, children get easy exposure to the lead. That creates imparity in brain development, especially among the children. According to WHO, adults develop kidney diseases to cardiac complications by lead exposure.

9. Social Discrimination:

Skin colors create discrimination. Though you are a well educated and moneyed person your skin is dark, you will get discriminative behaviors. Even money and education can’t protect you from discrimination and racism.

Mental health is a segment where stigma and bias keep persons from looking out care. Sometimes they need psychological support care to grow their confidence and treating depression.

10. Research:

According to certain reliable research results, certain side effects of drugs, diseases, and treatments impact the individuals differently. This depends on the race, ethnic background, and gender.

These kinds of researches can’t keep its progressive pace due to funding difficulties. According to the researchers they need more and steady funding to continue such research programs.


Social determinants have significant impacts on the mind and body of an individual. Different determinants and their impacts are discussed above. Improving social determinants can improve the lifestyle, mind, and health of an individual.

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