Explain possible contributory factors to the pattern of ill health

Length: 1495 words

Someone’s sexuality can have dramatic effects on their health, especially those who are actively open about their sexuality and being gay, lesbian or bisexual. This can lead to many different forms of discrimination, which can then lead on to mental health issues. Many young people who identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual are believed to be at higher risk of some form of bullying at school. Recent research conducted by the campaigning organisation Stonewall found that almost two-thirds (65%) of lesbian, gay or bisexual pupils had experienced homophobic bullying in school, this figure was 75 % for faith schools.

These experiences can have a very nasty negative effect on people’s health and general wellbeing. According to Mind organisation 50% of gay, lesbian or bisexual people have contemplated suicide or self-harm. Young gay men population have the highest rate of suicide of all groups, this can be linked to the homophobia and discrimination they experience directly from their sexuality. The diet of the nation has to be the most important factor that contributes to our health or ill health.

The government is pumping all this money into different campaigns to raise awareness of the benefits of eating a well balance healthy diet, surely if it wasn’t a major part in all the different health issues of the nation, then why would they use the money in this way. Obesity costs the NHS i?? 500 million per year, treating disease that are linked to poor diet such as strokes, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, as well others. The government have developed different campaigns such as the 5 A Day project to improve the nation’s diet.

The 5 A Day campaign is trying to encourage people to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetable a day to help reduce the risk of some cancers, heart disease and other conditions. Environmental Air pollution has unhealthy effect on humans, animals and plants globally. Every time we inhale, we carry dangerous air pollutants into our bodies. These pollutants can cause short-term effects such as eye and throat irritation. More alarming, however, are the long-term effects such as cancer and damage to the body’s immune, neurological, reproductive and respiratory systems.

Children, due to their size and the fact that they are in the process of developing, are at greater health related risk. This may influence where people choose to live especially if they have conditions such as asthma which may be more difficult to control in more suburban areas because of the build up of pollution coming from more transport on the roads. People may simply choose to live in rural areas because of pollution even if they don’t suffer, in order to minimize possible damage to themselves and their families.

Housing can be lead to poor or ill health which is closely linked to income and social class. People who receive lower income or who live on social benefits are more likely to live in poor housing conditions than those who have more income. They are more likely to experience conditions such as overcrowding and poor wash facilities and live in homes which require repair and are damp. These living conditions can cause medical problems such as asthma and communicable infections which are transmitted more easily in over crowded situations.

The number of childhood accidents is also much higher in areas of high housing population because of the lack of play grounds or areas, making it difficult for parents to supervise children who play outside alone. Genetic Sickle cell Anaemia is the most common genetic disease in England, it affects around 12000 people. Sickle cell anaemia affects the ability to carry oxygen around your body using your red blood cells. Normally, red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body.

The cells are round and flexible, allowing them to easily move around your body. The shape and texture of the blood cells can change with people with sickle cell anaemia. They become hard and sticky and are shaped like sickles, or crescents. The cells die prematurely, leading to a shortage of red blood cells. The disease can cause sufferers to experience pain, tissue damage and can lead to blindness and strokes. There is no prevention or cure for sickle cell but with a healthy diet and lifestyle the condition can be managed.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder caused by a faulty gene, which causes internal bodily secretions become thick and sticky, and hinder the function of certain organs, such as the lungs and digestive system. The faulty gene allows too much salt and not enough water into the cells, which results in a buildup of thick, sticky mucus in the body’s tubes and passageways. These blockages damage the body’s lungs and digestive system, resulting in inflammation and repeated infections. A healthy diet and exercise can help to control the conditions associated with Cystic fibrosis.

Your diet and the amount of exercise defiantly plays an important factor on your health. Nearly all disease are linked to poor diet and lifestyle. By making small change to our diet, could help reduce the amount of disease we see in our society. The government and local councils are already making changes and introducing new campaigns to encourage the nation to make better chooses when food is concerned. Suggests have recently been made to add tax to chocolate to encourage us to make different chooses when buying snack items.

Some will see this as wrong but in the long run it will be for our benefit, the same as the smoking ban, everyone said it wouldn’t last and no-one would get use to it but everyone has. There are different views and definitions on the significance of social class in society today; however there is strong evidence that standard of health, incidence of ill health, morbidity and life expectancy do vary between social groups and social class. People of higher social classes tend to live longer than people in lower classes and also enjoy better health.

Both the Black report (1980) and the Acheson report (1998) provided detailed and explanations for the relationship between social and environmental factors. There is also evidence that shows patterns of health and illness vary depending on gender, culture, ethnicity, disability and sexuality. Men are expected to have a shorter life expectancy than women; however women tend to have longer periods of life health. This could be possible to do with them living longer than men. In 2003, MIND organization published the UK’s largest survey of the mental health of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

The report clearly highlighted that psychological distress of gay men and lesbians was significantly higher than in heterosexual people. Studies have revealed gaps in the understanding of health needs of lesbians and gay men, as well the lack of services to meet there needs in some parts of the UK. The government’s white paper ‘A Programme for Action, 2003’ was a plan to tackle the health inequalities over a period of three years. It established foundation on which the national health inequalities would require in order to tackle infant mortality and life expectancy as well as other targets set out.

To help achieve these targets it set out key priorities to deliver targets, one of them were to support families, mothers and children to ensure the best start in life and break the inter-generational cycle of health. By possibly breaking this cycle it could mean children move up the social class or even breaking bad habits that their parents have such as when a parent is overweight or obese by educating the child on better eating and lifestyle , it would prevent them having illness in later life that are associated with obesity.

I believe socio-economic plays the biggest part in the health of the public. Everything we have, want or need is dictated by money and this is reflected in our health. If we live in poor housing, it’s because our income determines how much we can afford to pay, then our health can be affected by this. Same with what food we eat or the amount of exercise we do. People in low income occupations usually have to work longer hours which leaves them with less time to exercise and could lead them into making unhealthier food choices which can result in health issues such as obesity, CHD or strokes.

Most of the big disease which kill the most every year result from bad lifestyles and unhealthy foods choices. Everything is a cycle, the lack of income when growing up can determine the education you get and whether you go on to further education and your lack of education determines the income you receive so it’s a no win situation and a very hard cycle to break. If more isn’t done to help those on lower incomes to follow healthier lifestyles now then their children will be walking time bombs of health issues. This will lead to bigger issues for public health and resources within the NHS.

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