Factors That Affect Health Outcomes

Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “an optimum condition of total physical, emotional and social well being and not the absence of illness and infirmity”. A number of definitions have been applied to the term over the years. One school of thought maintains that health implies a state of total balance, while another says health means a state that is balanced on all dimensions. Still, another believes that health is a state that is both desirable and attainable.


A key component of achieving good health is well-being, a state of well-being that is achieved by a person’s ability to enjoy life and to cope with challenges. According to some experts, emotional well-being is the key element in achieving good health and physical well-being. Other experts believe it is important to consider the interdependence of the physical and emotional aspects of well-being.

A variety of determinants affect an individual’s health status. These determinants are social and environmental. The personal attributes that affect an individual’s health also includes the individual behavior that he or she may engage in. This means that these behaviors can be used as determinants as well. Some of the determinants that social factors can influence include:

The determinants that determine health outcomes can either be external or internal. These include the physical factors such as the general health status of an individual, his heart condition, blood pressure, cholesterol level, weight and other health characteristics. On the other hand, an individual behavior that can affect the health status of an individual includes his or her eating habits, sleep and other habits. These behavioral determinants also affect health outcomes.

Having a good relationship with family and friends has been seen as one of the determinants of a person’s physical well-being. Having a positive social network can help individuals cope with stress and depression. It can help individuals improve their mental health. In fact, some studies have shown that people who are socially connected have higher self-esteem and better physical health.

One of the most effective ways to prevent health problems is through the implementation of healthy behavior and proper diet. Proper diet is essential because it ensures that an individual eats the right amount of calories, nutrients, and proteins. The intake of health services is essential since it helps an individual get the necessary treatment when he or she develops a certain disease. An individual behavior that can affect the quality of health services is substance abuse. People who abuse drugs and other substances are more likely to develop diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.