The Definition of Health and Social Determinants of Health


In a dictionary, health is defined as the state of total physical, mental, and social well-being, free from illness or infirmity. The World Health Organization defines health in different ways. For instance, a person can be in good health if he or she is active and able to perform normal daily activities. The term health may also refer to an individual's emotional and mental well-being. While there are many definitions of health, they all share some important aspects in common.


While income and other measures of wealth are important for understanding well-being, other factors are more important for long-term health. Socioeconomic factors influence well-being, and social networks are important for a healthy life. The American Community Survey and Current Population Survey collect information about social relationships. These measures are also useful as social indicators. In fact, the OECD has created a conceptual framework for measuring well-being, including social network support and social contact.

This study programme focuses on non-medical aspects of health, such as lifestyle, attitudes, and work capacity. It also covers societal dynamics and the implementation of interventions, as well as cultural norms and ethics. Students are drawn from Estonia and other countries to benefit from the knowledge gained. They will also need to understand and apply ethical and legal issues in health research. Well-being is an important aspect of life, and promoting a positive attitude toward it is important for overall health.


The distinction between disease and health is often blurred and not easily discerned. Nevertheless, we must understand that disease refers to a deviation from the normal state of an organism. It has certain characteristics that distinguish it from physical injury. Hence, it is vital to understand what constitutes the "normal" state of an organism. Disease-free organisms generally display certain characteristic hallmarks. Here, we will discuss the differences between health and disease.

Disease is a symptom of an underlying physiological or social ailment. In contrast to communicable diseases, noncommunicable illnesses are long-term, and result from various environmental or genetic factors. They may be manifested at birth or later on in life. The World Health Organization has identified four broad categories of noncommunicable diseases: cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes mellitus. Although the four main categories are similar, their characteristics vary widely between societies.

Social determinants of health

Social determinants of health refer to the economic and social conditions that determine an individual or group's health. They include such factors as poverty and education. While health and wellness are interrelated, social determinants of health can affect both an individual and group's overall health status. Listed below are some of the main social determinants of health. Let's examine each one in more detail. Identifying social determinants of health can help us improve our quality of life and prevent disease.

One of the most important structural determinants of health is gender. The American Medical Informatics Association recommends including broadband internet service in the list of social determinants of health. In addition, a growing body of literature has begun examining specific conditions and their corresponding social determinants. Using these factors to improve health care for low-income people can help prevent disease, increase quality of life, and reduce health care costs.

Measures of health

There are many different types of measures of health and their use varies greatly. Some measures of health are generic in nature and are applicable to all disease categories. Others are more specific, such as disease-specific scales, which rate the severity of symptoms in a particular organ system. Other measures, such as health-related quality of life and general health, are used to measure various aspects of health, including mental health, physical health, and social and environmental factors.

A health event frequency measure, for example, measures the difference between two categories of events that affect health. Usually, the uppermost category is considered the reference category, while the lowest one is the lowest category. To calculate a health event frequency measure, the dependent variable must be binary, and can be calculated using contingency tables or log-linear regression models. The dependent variable can also be a continuous measure. This method avoids the main limitation of measures of association with health.