Activity Post Week 6

The social determinant of health that relates close to what I want to talk about in my paper is the social gradient. The social gradient describes the social and economic factors that affect how a persons life is. The people that have lower socioeconomic status tend to have the short end of the stick. They go through a lot more difficulties and have a shorter life expectancy. (Wilkinson & Marmot, 2003 p. 1099-1102) In Brazil, my health issue is on the poor maternal health in the country. The women in Brazil are mistreated by the government and the medical community there. The women there have a much higher chance of dying compared to men and that is just due to their gender. Most of the women affected by this health crisis in Brazil come from low income families or poor districts. They do not have the money to ensure that they get the treatment that they need. Or in this case, deserve. In the Commissions on Social Determinants of Heath, they found that poverty and inequality are major factors that are bad for a persons general well-being. Being poor, you might not have access to clean water or proper nutrition. With an absence of good medical care, as well, you would not have the necessary means to take care of yourself or get the treatment that you need. Adding all this together, you can just see how that makes someones life harder and why they would have such a shorter life expectancy. (Marmot, 2005 p. 10) There was a research done by the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom to see the relationship between a persons income and their health. The study showed a positive relationship between those two, with low income causing bad health. When the participants lived in those circumstances at a younger age, it shows that there was a higher chance of the participant having poor physical health and mental health. Being poor does not just affect someones external circumstances. It also causes internal problems as well. Problems like stress, malnutrition, depression, and other mental health illnesses have been highly linked to coming from a place with low income or a low socioeconomic status. (Theodossiou, 2009) One goal of creating the Commission on Social Determinants of Health was to close the income gap in society. The reason behind this gap is due to inequalities in distribution of power, services, and income. Policy makers, researchers, and society have to work together to see this inequality end because this is something that could be easily prevented. There is an ethical value of making sure that the people at the lower end of the socioeconomic status do not suffer worse health wise just cause of the messed up structure society has. Economic growth is needed to have enough resources to go around for everyone, but so are policies implementing fairness in receiving these benefits. In Brazil, people are estimated to live to the age of 75. (Marmot, 2008) That might not seem so bad compared to other countries, but it could be much better because research is showing how the poor social and economic situations are main causes in woman’s death in Brazil.


  1. Wilkinson, R. & Marmot, M. (2003). p. 1099-1102.  Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts. Retrieved from
  2. Marmot, M. (2005). p.10 Social determinants of health inequalities. Retrieved from
  3. Theodossiou, I. (2009, May 14). The social gradient in health: The effect of absolute income and subjective social status assessment on the individual’s health in Europe. Retrieved from
  4. Marmot, M. (2008, November 06). Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Retrieved from

Leave a Reply