Understanding the true meaning of Health and Social Gradient
What is the Health and the Social Gradient of Health?
Health is the all inclusive well being of a person that is determined by physical, mental, social, and environmental factors. Social gradient is the inequity of social status that is impacted by determinants such as income and education. It is crucial to understand the layers of the word health and the "lack of illness" definition just isn't cutting it.
Household Income and Mental Health
of the population who reported having experienced depressive symptoms in 2016 also reported household income under 2.000,000 KRW per month (~$1,775 USD)
≥ 4,000,000 KRW/mon
< 2,000,000 KRW/mon
2,000,000 ~ 4,000,000 KRW/mon
Gross National Income Influences Physical Health
(Adler et al, 1994)
Increase in life expectancy when the top five countries with highest Gross National Income (GNI) is compared to the five countries with the lowest GNI (Data World Bank, 2016)
Socioeconomic Status impacts
So What Can We Do?
Although often neglected, education can be a huge determinant, of health, both on a community-wide scale but also at the individual level. A lack of knowledge means a lack of ability to help oneself. Interventions should be made to ensure families are educated about their health. As seen in the figure above, higher education is correlated with lower rates of osteoarthritis, chronic diseases, hypertension, and cervical cancer (Adler et al. 1994).
Adler NE, Boyce T, Chesney MA, Cohen S, Folkman S, et al. Socioeconomic status and health. The challenge of the gradient. Am. Psychol. 1994;49:15–24.
Lim, J.H. (2018). Regional Differences of Mental Health Status and Associated Factors: Based on the Community
Health Survey. Osong Public Health Res Perspect, 9(4):175-184. Retrieved from 10.24171/j.phrp.2018.9.4.06.
World Health Bank. (2016). Countries and Economies. Retrieved from https://data.worldbank.org/country.