Social Determinants of Health: Economic Growth Effect

Transcreation: an implementation science framework for community-engaged behavioral interventions to reduce health disparities
September 5, 2022
Discussion Post
September 5, 2022

Social Determinants of Health: Economic Growth Effect

Social injustice has adverse effects in the life that people lead in a given society. It also contributes to causes of diseases that affect the people and determines how long they live. It is alarming to watch the rates of advancement in healthcare in some parts of the world while in other parts it is deteriorating at high levels. In examining the progress of any society, the fair distribution of health among its members is a major factor.

In the modern society set ups, most people feel that majority have become so obsessed with materialism and have lost concentration on their social values. Most people in the modern world seem to put more emphasis on individuality but it is a sad fact to note that the countries with high levels of material success have considerable poor social standards. There are high rates of anxiety, depression and several other problems of social nature. Income levels have a very large impact on the relationships that exist among people and also their health (WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, 2008).

Studies have shown that wealthy countries have two to three years in the life expectancy after every ten-year period, not considering any growth in the country’s economy. The levels are similar to those of poor countries. It seems that the increase in the countries’ income usually has very minimal effect on the health and happiness of its citizens. It also seems that the levels rise earlier in the economic growth and then reaches a point where they become static. An initial growth in the social class excites people and this improves their health and even promotes more happiness. As a country’s economy rises, the impact of wealth on the wellbeing of individuals become weaker (Wilkinson & Pickett, 2010).

The causes of death also tend to vary as a country’s economy grows or dwindles. The infectious diseases that are common in poor countries also tend to reduce as a country’s economy grows. They are replaced later by lifestyle diseases as the major cause of death which is always more prevalent among people of higher economic classes. The infectious diseases are always associated with children but on the contrary the lifestyle diseases come with age (Gehlert et al, 2008).

Something else that should not escape the eye is that poverty as well as inequality contributes to the problems in the society. There exists little interactions between people in societies and this has effects on society-to-society social interactions. Unequal societies have even more problems associated with poor societies. These societies in most cases have continuous decline in health and social standards. These may include decrease in trust, high cases of mental disorders, low life expectancy levels, high rates of mortality among children, low performance in school by students, cases of obesity, and high rates of crime and pregnancies among teenagers (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013).

It would be better if people could come to their senses and strive to make their societies better places to live in instead of being individualistic and always aiming for material success. There should be improvement of the daily lives led by individuals of any given society. There is a need for equitable distribution of money, power, and resources. Experts in various sectors should come up with ideas that would ensure professional evaluation of exact problems of the societies and the best solutions provided. All this will form a basis that better healthcare systems will be built on.


Gehlert, S., Sohmer, D., Sacks, T., Mininger, C., McClintock, M., & Olopade, O. (2008). Targeting health disparities: A model linking upstream determinants to downstream interventions. Health Affairs, 27(2), 339-349.