Determinants of health

There are many determinants of health that impact communities in different ways. Three examples include the availability of preventative services for the uninsured, diet, and genetics (, 2012). Each of these determinants plays a role in the ability of a community to achieve optimal health and wellbeing for its people.

Access to preventative health services is a key social determinant in health because it reflects the ability of some individuals and families with different income levels to obtain access to preventative services such as routine testing for hypertension and type 2 diabetes (CDC, 2013). Therefore, in a social context, access to services may be limiting for many individuals and families and creates fewer opportunities to promote optimal health and wellbeing within these groups (CDC, 2013).

The ability to consume a healthy diet is one of the most critical determinants of health across all communities (WHO, 2013). However, many people are unable to obtain the proper nutrition as a result of income and social status, and therefore, face a greater risk of poor health (WHO, 2013). It is important for all persons to have the opportunity to consume a healthy diet through positive nutrition and access to healthy food choices (WHO, 2013).

Finally, genetics comprise another key determinant of health for many people (WHO, 2013). Family members pass down genes from generation to generation, and many people face critical challenges in their lives as a result of their genetic makeup (WHO, 2013). This is a challenging prospect for many people and may increase their risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions (WHO, 2013). Therefore, genetics represent a challenge for individuals across many different population groups and demonstrate that the determinants of health are influential in shaping the lives of different people across many generations (WHO, 2013).


Centers for Disease Control (2013). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from (2013). Determinants of health. Retrieved from

World Health Organization (2013). The determinants of health. Retrieved from