Social Determinants of Health and Mortality in South Korea – Term Paper Example

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The paper “Social Determinants of Health and Mortality in South Korea" is a perfect example of a term paper on social science. Economic resources are a well known social determinant of health. Rates of mortality increase with poverty, with the effect being most staged in ages 24 to 44 as well as ages 45 to 64. A similar, but lesser, rise in mortality rates happens for older adults that live in neighborhoods with high rates of poverty. It is possible that the higher sum death in older ages derails some income effects; furthermore, those most susceptible to the drawbacks of low incomes have died at younger ages (Jang, Portman, & University of Iowa, 2009). Rates of disability too vary among older adults according to income, even when controlling for age, education, gender, and race. Self-reported health as well is correlated to income, and people with low incomes have health declines at earlier ages compared to wealthier. The relationship between poverty with poor health in old age is joint—poverty leads to poor health (social causation) as poor health leads to low incomes (social selection); however, social causation is the dominates.

Economic resources are a “primary” cause of health since they are essential to get all goods and services required in a healthy life. Additionally, to personal resources, communal resources influence access to the situations that encourage a healthy course of life. Residential neighborhoods are seriously separated by income, reducing access of the underprivileged to healthy housing. Neighborhoods of higher income are more likely to be far from the contamination of factories and freeways, are suitable to affordable along with healthy food. They also have access to superior medical along with other services, and support physical activity by being attractive and safe for walking (Noh et al., 2006). People with lower incomes also are exposed to social elimination with less access to stable employment, having no voice in public plan decisions and suffering from substandard public services. This implies that decreasing poverty is an efficient way to decrease health declines as well as improve health impartiality in old age. 

In South Korea, for example, residential neighborhoods are a significant living space for older adults since they spend extra time in their localities than employed young adults. Localities are highly segregated by socioeconomic status. The neighborhood socioeconomic status is related to disability, mortality and self-evaluated health. The situations that are expected to affect people in lower-income neighborhoods are determinants of health like fewer grocery stores as well as substitutes for fast food (Klassen, 2010). The low-income populaces also have less and lower quality medical care sources, lower quality housing, and higher crime rates, along with weaker social support networks.

Improvements in life expectancy at the nationwide level are controlled by broad-based financial growth while growth works to decrease poverty, or by the development of supports even with no economic increase, like when residents access basic health-promoting services. In contrast, when financial growth goes mainly to people that are by now well off, and when public services for people with little incomes are insufficient, financial growth has a minor impact on nationwide health outcomes. Within South Korea, inequality controls both death and self-assessed health subsequent to reaching a threshold level of income, particularly at the highest inequality levels (Park, 2005). The inequality mortality effect is most noticeable for people below age 65, where the major causes of death comprise accidental injury, homicide, suicide, and HIV; all circumstances that are mainly responsive to social conditions.

Steps for Improving Health Literacy
Education is an influential determinant of economic and social position. Persons with higher education possess lower rates of major health conditions, longer life expectancies, and lower disability levels; independent of their income along with health insurance. The status of the health gap between the highest and lowest levels of educational people has been growing for the last many years. It indicates that the benefits of more education and drawbacks of little education have a growing significance in health inequities. The gap of education in mortality rates grew in between 1990 and 2000. Rates of mortality in that period varied little for people of high school education or less. Death rates reduced among people that had a high school education. The difference in education for smoking rates along with other protecting health activities like better social networks is a possible contributor to the broadening mortality disparities (Cho & Yoon, 2009).

In order to have health literacy, it is important to educate the people. This is because health literacy is related to education. Many older adults in South Korea do not have adequate knowledge, or the skills to utilize knowledge, to come up with healthy decisions as well as to be active contributors in their healthcare. People with lots of years of education possess both enhanced cognitive processing abilities to use new multifaceted information efficiently, and further baseline knowledge pertinent to health (Chee & Levkoff, 2001). To the point that people are getting useable knowledge on how their behavior influences their health (like, how physical activity can decrease the risk of falls), as well as how to evaluate medical advice (like, advantages and risks of some medications), the conditions in which they could be healthy is improved.

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