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Chapter 21

SOC100H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 21: Psychosomatic Medicine

Course Code
Suzanne Casimiro

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Chapter 21: Health and Medicine (505-525)
What is health?
Health: according to World Health Organization; health is a state of complete
physical, mental and social well being
Health and Society
Society shapes peoples health in four major ways:
Cultural patterns define healthStandards of health vary from place to
What people see as healthful also
reflects what they think is morally good
Ideas about health can act as a form of
social control , encouraging conformity to
cultural norms
Cultural standards of health change
over timePg. 505
Societys technology affects peoples
healthIndustrialization raises living
standards, health improves
Social inequality affects peoples healthAll societies distribute resources
Universal medical coverage: system in
which the costs of essential medical
services are covered by the state
Health: A Global Survey
Impact of social factors on human well-being is apparent in improved health
associated with economic development and advanced technology
Health in Low Income Countries Health in Low-Income Countries
Severe poverty cuts decades off long
life expectancy typical of rich
In most parts of Africa have life
expectancies of barely 50 years, and
in the poorest countries most people
die before reaching their teens
1 in 6 persons suffer from serious
illness due to poverty
Bad health can result both from
eating a single type of food or having
too little to eat
Cities quickly became overcrowded, a
condition that made already poor
sanitation worse
Workplace accidents were common
Industrialization provides better
nutrition and safer housing for most
Medical advances began to control
infectious diseased
Chronic illnesses (i.e. Heart disease,
cancer and stroke) now cause most
deaths in North America and Europe,
usually in old age

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Malnutrition kills people of all ages,
especially children
Sanitation is also harmful, bad water,
and scarcity of medical personnel
Minimal medical care, 10% of
children die within a year of birth
Poverty breeds disease which in turn
undermines the ability to work
Health In Canada
Canadas health is good by world standards
Though we are now less vulnerable to infectious diseases, we do have our
share of cancer, heart disease and mental illnesses
Have universal health insurance
Who is Healthy? Age, Gender, Class and Race
Social Epidemiology: study of health and disease as distributed throughout a
societys population
patterns of health can be viewed in terms of age, gender, social class and race
Age and Gender
death is now rare among young people
young people do fall victim to accidents and AIDS
Canadas children who are subject to poor diet, lack of exercise, and second-hand
smoke, are tomorrows cancer and heart patients
Gender is linked to life expectancy, major causes of death, overall experience of
health and illness, visits to physicians, and reporting of multiple health problems
Socio-economic position, labour force participation, and earned income affect health
and well being of men and women differently
Effects of employment, marriage, and motherhood (and the resulting role strain) are
a particular concern for women
Social Class and Race
While health of the richest children in Canada is the best in the world, our poorest
children Aboriginal children, in particular- are vulnerable to diseases as those in
the low-income countries of the world
Surveys indicate that residents of rural and remote communities have poorer
health than people who live in urban centres and
the farther a community is from a large urban centre, the poorer the health of the
Researchers tell us that adults in high-income families overwhelmingly report that
their health is excellent or very good, but fewer than half of adults in low income
families say the same

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Having a higher income boosts health by improving nutrition and access to better
health care and by allowing safer and less stressful surroundings
General health and life expectancy tend to be higher for immigrants that for those
born in Canada
oThe healthy immigrant effect is more obvious among recent immigrants
because healthier people are more likely to emigrate, and because health
requirements in the Immigration Act screen out people with serious medical
oimmigrants make less use of health services, especially mental and
preventive health services, than the Canadian born population
Mental Health
prior to 1960, people who suffered from mental illness in Canada were kept
in large psychiatric hospitals or asylums
patients were gradually shifted from these institutions to the community and
pharmaceutical treatment became the norm
men are less likely than women to approach mental health practitioners
aboriginal people have suicide rates that are among the highest in the world
Cigarette Smoking
cigarette smoking tops the list of preventable hazards to health
remains fashionable despite growing evidence of its dangers
as concern about the health effects of smoking grew, consumption of cigarettes fell
from its peak in 1960
despite the addictive quality of nicotine and difficulty of quitting, a substantial
number of smokers have quit while younger cohorts have chosen not to start
women are almost as likely as me not smoke
for Canada as a whole, 18.2% of men and 14.9% of women are smokers
over the longer term, smoking by women has increased substantially, so that
cigarettes have taken a larger toll on womens health
lung cancer now competes with breast cancer as a leading cause of death for
Canadian women
non-smokers exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke have higher risk of smoking
related diseases
social factors contribute because many people smoke as a way to control stress
smoking is more common among men, working class people, divorced people, the
unemployed and army
tobacco industry has increased its sales worldwide, especially in lower-income
countries where there is less regulation of tobacco products
one result of the rise in global smoking is that cancer is overtaking health disease as
worlds number one killer
Eating Disorders
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