1. Health is a lifelong process and is determined in various ways by interplay
between biogenetic processes and cultural or environmental influences.
2. Health is maintained or changed in part by actions and inactions of the individual.
Some or many actions and inactions that have consequences for health are under the
control of the individual to some extent, and some or many actions or inactions that have
health consequences are involuntary responses to stressful events aimed at restoration of
allostasis. Allostasis refers to maintaining stability through change, and efforts to cope
with stressful events can be volitional or systemic or involuntary
3.Health is multidimensional across the life span. The biophysiological, cognitive,
and social processes that affect developmental changes in health and disease operate at
4. Health refers to wellness as well as to diseases and illness. The definition of
health is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being not merely the absence
of disease or infirmity.
-Prominent role for cultural and environmental factors: consequences of low socioeconomic
status (SES) and low educational attainments
-biogenetic cursors (nonnormative fetal development)
-both the biogenetic and cultural influences interact and particular points in early
development determine disease risk
Health Status of Older Adults
-The health of adults and older adults ahs improved in recent decades in terms of longevity,
self-reported health, and physical functioning.
Mortality and Life Expectancy
-declines in mortality rates have contributed to steady increase in life expectancy at birth.
-Chronic illnesses are the leading causes of deaths in older adults. Heart disease, cancer,
and stroke were the causes of 60% of all deaths of people age 65 or older. There have been
large decreases in deaths from circulatory diseases, especially heart disease and stroke.
-Mortality rates gave even declined for the oldest old.
-rates declined more slowly for blacks than whites