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How do factors such as race, gender, marital status and socio-economic status influence health?

3. How do factors such as race, gender, marital status and socio-economic status (SES) influence health?

It is an interesting question to ask if race, gender, marital status and socio-economics status influence health. “Considering a patient's ethnic background can make some diagnoses easier” (Wolinsky, 2011). Race is usually used in health research as a concept to group populations of people according to a number of factors that include ancestry, social identity, and genetic makeup. Health inconsistencies, which include life expectancy and disease, are because of the differences in health conditions across ethnic populations. This could also be a part of inequalities in environments that may or may not have access to healthcare.

Men and women can all be affected by health conditions. Although, there are some diseases that are found more commonly in men than women and vice versa. “Among men age 65 and over, more than 39 percent have heart disease, compared to about 27 percent of women in the same age

group” (Strauss, 2018). This is because when men gain weight it tends to land in their midsection, while for women it is in their thighs and hips. The way men’s and women’s bodies are made are different, thus causing different reactions to food and lifestyles.

Marital status plays a different role on an individual’s health than most other aspects. Unmarried individuals generally report poorer health and have a higher mortality risk than their married counterparts (Robards et al, 2012). Individuals who reach an older age and are not partnered tend to show negative health outcomes, and those that are partnered live grow older together and have less health problems. This is because those who do not participate in healthy lifestyle behaviors end up with a higher risk of health problems. These healthy behaviors include; socializing, being more active, protection from STD’s, eating healthier, and being more involved with your medical needs.

We all know that being a busy body can have positive and negative affects on a person. A person who is too busy from work, school, family, etc. may have a harder time staying healthy with all the extra stress in their lives. It takes a toll on person’s body when they never seem to be relaxed. Those who find a good balance in their lives and are not constantly stressed have less depression, anxiety, and their body does not have as much tension on it.


Robards, J., Evandrou, M., Falkingham, J., & Vlachantoni, A. (2012). Marital status, health and mortality. Maturitas, 73(4), 295–299.

Strauss, Pamela MD. (2018). How Gender Affects Health. Rush.

Wolinsky, Howard. (2011). Genomes, race and health. EMBO Reports, 12(2), 107-109. doi:10.1038/embor.2010.218

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