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Lecture 3

6 Pages

Health Studies
Course Code
Jason Ramsay

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Lec 3 ISSUES IN CHILD HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT biological bases of human development Jan 242011 Jan 312011Gradient Common pattern of increase or decrease in an health outcome variable related to an increase or decrease in a measure of socioeconomic status SES Increasing health status Increasing neurocognitive status Tells us how social factors affect our health outcomes it interacts with genetics Ex degeneration tropical degeneration white ppl going to the tropics there brain will go soft If you were alcoholic it would weaken your brain cells and that would cause your offspring brains to be weak This influenced epigenetics studies how factors other than DNA can affect your genetic expression ex how what your grandfather ate effected your genes Its a measurement of the socioeconomic status its the comparison between the richest and poorest This gap has gotten bigger since the 1970s CEOs make several hundreds more than average ppl which is an indicator of how things have changed Has huge effects on health outcomes The biggest factors that are going to have an impact on us are social factors mostly status this tells us the amount of access a person has to health the gradient interacts with genetics measurement of socialeconomic status richest vs poorest common pattern of increasedecrease in an health outcome and neurocognitive status Theres health inequality between races and status some US states have profiles like some subsaharan African states eg Kenya more revealing if you look at disease vsGDP spent on healthcare US sinks relative to poorer but more fwd thinking countries flatter gradient is better for all which means more taxesThe gradient and children early experiences can have profound effect on later health outcomes 3 big facts a Differences in income distribution deeply affects health status of a countrys citizens b The steeper the SES or income gradient the steeper the differences in health status between rich and poor c Gradient effects are found throughout history across the globe and are persistently correlated with develop mental health status and outcome when controlling for individual factors Examples of the SES gradient Effect on Reading Performance There is a clear relationship between mean SESof the school the child attendsand the level of reading ability of children attending that school On average Canada is a bit better but still shows the effect What the gradient reveals SES plotted against any major disease globally reveals SES is a main factor Some US states eg Louisiana have profiles like some subsaharan African states eg Kenya More revealing if you look at disease versusGDP spent on healthcare US sinks relative to poorer but more forward thinking countries A FLATTER GRADIENT IS BETTER FOR ALL The gradient and children Longitudinal population studies suggest that early experiences even prenatalcan have a profound effect on later health outcomes A good example is folic acid and neural tube defects in the fetus SES gradient effects are entrenched by kindergarten By school age this sets the child up for a pathway to further resilience or further riskRecent studies show that the effects of the early environment can have a profound effect on adult health outcomes Within a Social Determinants of Health Perspective The idea of the gradient in predictingaccounting for health outcomes springs from the social determinants of health perspective This perspective argues that risk factors operating at the population level that are
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