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Chapter 3

HLTHAGE 1AA3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Small For Gestational Age, Infant Mortality, Maternal Death

Health, Aging and Society
Course Code
Elena Neiterman

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Life Expectancy:
-In Canada, there have been wide variations in life expectancy, and Canada is amongst the highest in the
-women in Canada have a higher life expectancy compared to men in research studies
-dramatic changes in life expectancy can be explained by a number of factors
-epidemiological transition: suggests that as the economy changes from low to high per capita income,
there is a corresponding transition from high mortality and high fertility to low mortality and low fertility
-three stages that describe changes in the patterns of diease:
The Age of Pestilence and Famine
characterized by socio-economic conditions in which communities are traditional,
economically underdeveloped with a low per capita income, and generally agrarian
women usually have low status
family is extended
illieeracy is high
high mortality rate is attributed to famine and infectious diseases
The Age of Receding Pandemics
Characterized by a decrease in epidemics and famine and a consequent decline in the
mortality rate
Fertility rate continues to be high, resulting in ‘population explosion’
The Age of Degenerative and Man-Made Diseases
Fertility rate then begins to decline as people begin to live longer and to die of emerging
industrial and degenerative diseases such as cancer, stroke, and heart disease
Death, Disease, and Disability in Global Context:
-the prime determinant of health is the absolute ability of individuals and families to meet their basic
human needs
-research has found that the greater the relative inequality in societies, the higher the rates of disease
and death
-greater inequality is coincident both with greater proportions of a population living in poverty and also
with governments that are less likely to invest in infrastructures such as education, transportation,
adequate and affordable housing, food production and distribution
-major causes of death around the world are preventable and such measures would, of course,
eliminate a great deal of suffering over and above the deaths caused by contaminated water supplies,
inadequate nutrition, and preventable diseases such as malaria
-the UN members signed The Millennium Declaration in 2000 which included 8 interrelated goals:
The eradication of poverty and hunger
The achievement of universal primary education
The promotion of gender equality
The reduction of child mortality
The improvement of maternal health
Reducing HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Ensuring environmental sustainability
Developing global partnerships to achieve the aforementioned goals
Poverty and Inequality:
-poverty is often associated with political powerlessness and marginalization
-Economic decline usually affects the standard of living and consequently the health of many

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-public policies regarding income security are also associated with infant mortality rates
-in a study done, it was found that the level of unemployment and the availability of unemployment and
family and social security benefits were related to infant mortality rates
Food Security:
-this term refers to a situation either chronic or acute in which people don’t have access to enough safe,
nutritious and culturally acceptable food
-experimental field studies have shown that improvements in nutrition, particularly in the quantity and
quality of the protein component have a much larger impact on morbidity and mortality than any other
public health or medical measure
-an inadequate amount of nutrients limits neurological development and limits productivity
-nutrient deficiency in women is more prevalent and a significant problem compared to men
-underweight babies are born to women who suffer nutritional inadequacies
-underweight babies are more likely to die as infants to suffer from any one of a number of diseases, as
well as intellectual and physical disabilities
-food insecurity is a result of war, poverty, natural disasters, epidemics, and political and economic
The Physical and Social Environment:
-the sufficient amount of clean drinking water is another crucial factor in health
-the shortages of clean, potable water are not absolute but rather due to political and economic
-numerous illnesses are related to unsanitary water
-Diarrheal disease is a leading cause of the death of children in the developing world
-improvements in water, sanitation, and health along with other basic services contribute to reduction
in child malnutrition
-very dramatic death rates among babies in underdeveloped countries were fed by ‘instant’ infant
formular that had to mixed with water. The export of formula was responsible for a widespread increase
in infant mortality from a specific source. Babies were made sick by being given contaminated water and
also they lacked information or sufficient income to purchase adequate amounts of formula, mothers
were often diluting the formula so extensively that babies were dying of starvation
Safety, Security, and Stability:
-civil war, international warfare, and violence in communities, workplaces, and the home are all threats
to fundamental safety
-as local and international inequities grow, so do violence and war; death disability and disease can be
expected to increase
-those at risk of violence are more likely to be females, children, adolescents, old people, the homeless,
the unemployed, migrants, refugees, members of visible ethnic minorities, the chronically ill and the
mentally disabled, and victims of ware
The Position of Women:
-worldwide, women’s health is considerably poorer than that of men
-women are still not equal to men around the world
-gender disparities are exacerbated by poverty; so women in the poorest of circumstances are even less
likely to have economic or political power
-reducing poverty will lead to an increase in the status of women, and such an increase will enhance
economic development
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