Determinants of Health.

Topics: Obesity, Cancer, Hypertension Pages: 5 (1444 words) Published: April 16, 2013
Determinants of health.
Biological Determinants
–body weight & genetics.

(Introduction- Biological determinants)
Biological determinants of health include those factors that influence the health status of an individual through genetics or as a result of the effect of micro-organisms. Biological determinants are also the structure of the cells, tissues and systems of the body and how well they function. The effect of micro-organisms is both positive and negative to our body. Many miro-organisms are necessary for such processes as breaking down complex chemicals in foods. Harmful micro-organisms, such as a virus or fungus, have the potential to cause disease resulting in chronic illness or death. The body’s immune system develops antibodies to fight disease and the process of this dependent on a person’s health status. Being deprived in the necessary nutrition your body needs, you will be unable to produce effective immune defence mechanisms, putting the body in danger of the bad micro-organisms and the health problems that may follow. Some biological factors affect specific populations more than others. For example, older adults are biologically prone to being in poorer health than adolescents due to the physical and cognitive effects of aging. Some examples of biological determinants include:

* Body weight; being underweight, overweight, a healthy weight, obese. * Birth weight; being underweight is a huge risk for babies. * Genetics; sex, cancers, allergies.
* Glucose regulation; also referred to as glucose intolerance or insulin resistance. * Blood pressure; can lead to a lot of heart problems such as a stroke. * Blood cholesterol; if build up is extreme it can lead to brain damage The determinants above are varied and although most people have some control over certain biological determinants, there is often a genetic component that cannot be controlled.

(Body paragraph –Genetics)
At conception, the genetic blueprint is determined and the contributions of genes can’t be changed from there on in. The genetic material (DNA) contained in the body calls controls things such as sex, body type, hormone production, predispositions to disease and aspects of personally, and these all have and influences on an individual health.

There are 23 pairs of chromosomes in our body which have a particular arrangement of special proteins linked together, known as DNA. Each pair contains one chromosomes contributed by the mother and one from the father. Females have two X chromosomes and males have an X and a Y chromosome. As women have two X chromosomes, they provide the X whereas males determine the sex of the baby. If the sperm that goes to the egg is a X chromosome, then it will be a girl, and if it is a Y chromosome, then it will be a boy. Genetically, an individual’s health status is influences by various traits that are passed on from the parents. These include: * Skin pigmentation; if you tan, burn or freckle

* DNA composition that determines blood type
* Certain cancers; skin cancer, prostate cancer ect.
* Allergies; e.g. lactose intolerant
* Sex; female or male, XX or XY chromosome
* Carrying the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene; increases risk for breast and ovarian cancer * Diabetes; type 1 and 2
* Obesity
Sometimes genes may not divide properly later in life or may be faulty at conception, and this is known as mutation. Mutation can lead to a number of health concerns, some are known as genetic conditions. This is because they are a direct result of the genetic information contained in the cell.

Hormones are responsible for the formation of male and female sex characteristic that lead to differences in some of the health conditions experienced by them. Some examples of some conditions that are either exclusive to males or females include * Women cannot get prostate or testicular cancer

* Women are more likely to get breast cancer, less...
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