Communicable Diseases

Reflection: Health is determined by many factors, including genetic inheritance, physical environment, social environment, individual behavior, and access to quality medical care. Genetic inheritance refers to an individual’s genetic predisposition to develop a given condition, such as heart disease or cancer. The physical environment refers to exposure to substances that can harm health (such as radon, toxic waste, tobacco smoke, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and other pollutants) and to machinery or other hazards that increase risk of injury. The social environment refers to a diverse array of factors related to interactions between people, each of which can promote, protect, or harm health. Individual attributes such as race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, for example, are associated with significant variations in health status and risk for health problems, as is the quality of support from the people in one’s social network. Health is also influenced by the individual’s health behavior, which typically refers to behaviors that harm health, such as smoking, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, poor diet, lack of exercise, and poor safety habits, including seatbelt use. Finally, health is affected by whether individuals have access to health care and the quality of that care. Health care has the least impact on disease and injury occurrence and the most impact on the diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury. The other determinants of health have the most influence on whether or not health problems develop in the first place, that is, on primary prevention.
Health Impact Pyramid

What do you believe are 2-3 top factors that increase susceptibility to communicable disease and how do they relate to the Health Impact Pyramid?