Chapter 1-Introduction.docx

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Department
Family Relations and Human Development
Course
FRHD 3090
Professor
Michelle Preyde
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 1 – Introduction The Health Gradient  British statistics have shown, for as long as one has cared to look, that health follows a social gradient: the higher the social position, the better the health  First, in rich countries, most diseases affect people of lower position more than those of higher. In this sense, the diseases of affluence are few o Breast cancer has been a notable exception to the pattern of low social position, high risk  Second, it is not only the poor who suffer. o E.g. Whitehall studies showed that civil servants who are not poor, the lower the employment grade, the higher the risk of most causes of death  The social gradient in health is not confined to those in poverty. Runs from top to bottom of society, with less goo standards of health at every step down the social hierarchy  Even comfortably off people somewhere in the middle tend to have poorer health than those above them  The social gradient has shown us how sensitive health is to social and economic factors, and so enabled us to identify the determinants of health among the population as a whole The Causes of the Causes  The epidemiology seeks to identify individual risk factors for disease – Smokers have higher risk of several diseases than those who never smoked; raised plasma cholesterol or blood pressure are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease; newer risk factors such as C Reactive protein have been identified, and some call for their use in screening to identify individuals at high risk of subsequent disease who may be suitable for special intervention  First, among risk factors, we distinguish those that are behaviours from those that are biological markers. Biological markers such as cholesterol or blood pressure may be useful in treatment to lower their levels reduces risk of subsequent disease o
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