Social Aspects of Diseases

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					Social Aspects of
     Dr. Mostafa Arafa
 Associate Prof. of Family and
Community medicine
Faculty of medicine, medical sciences
 King Khaled University, S.A.
The prevention of disease is a
major role of public health
programs. In developing and
implementing prevention
programs the environmental &
social factors are increasingly
recognized as important
components, depending on
many reasons.
Another important concern
of environmental factors
also has been developed
because of the difficulty in
getting individuals to
change their behavior.
A third reason for the
increasing interest in
environmental factors is the
fact that distribution of many
diseases remains relatively
constant over time even
though individuals come and
go from the population.
The term environment is a general
one describing many different
conditions and influences under
which any person or thing lives or
develops. The environment is a
result of a continuous interaction
between natural and human made
components, social process and the
relationship between individuals and

 Magnitude of disease problem

For example ; CHD, cancers, mental
    illness, diabetes and stroke
Difficulties in changing behavior
To prevent disease we
increasingly ask people to begin
do things that they have not
done previously, to stop doing
things that they have been doing
for years and to do more of
some things and less of others .
Pattern of disease rates
Some groups often have a
characteristic over time even
though individuals come and go
from these groups. If groups have
different rates over time, there
may be something promotes or
discourages disease among
individuals in those groups.
There are three important
factors, through which the
environment affects the
incidence, severity, and
persistence of non-infectious
diseases : Socio-economic
status, Marital status and
      Socioeconomic status
• A consistent finding dated from the
  twelfth century , is that people in the
  lowest socioeconomic groups have
  the highest rates of morbidity and
  mortality, whether the
  socioeconomic status was studied in
  relation to education, income, or
  occupation: the lower the level the
  higher the death and morbidity rate.
         Marital status
• It has been known for many years
  that people who are not married-
  whether single, separated ,
  widowed or divorced- have higher
  mortality rates than married
• One of the most well-established
  facts among students of health and
  disease is that men have higher
  mortality rates than women. This
  excess of male deaths occurs at
  every age and for every major
  cause for which comparison is
  possible. foe any age.
    Another social factors affecting
         disease incidence
1. Life events: life events can increase the
   rate of illness, especially minor diseases
2. Behavior pattern: “type A” behavior
   persons are more exposed to stressful life
   events. This behavior pattern is said to be
   exhibited by persons engaged in a
   relatively chronic and chronic struggle to
   obtain unlimited number of things in the
   environment in the shortest time.
     Health effects of smoking
1.   Excess mortality
2.   Economic cost
3.   Cardiovascular diseases
    Coronary heart disease
    Peripheral arterial occlusion disease
    Cerebrovascular disease
 Health effect of smoking (cont.)
4. Cancer
5. Gastrointestinal diseases
6. Diseases of the mouth
7. Passive effect of smoking on
  children’s health, adults and lung
8. In utero effect of maternal smoking
  Smoking control measures
• Smoking cessation classes
• Clinical intervention
• Special community intervention
Smoking prevention:
This can be accomplished by a number of
mechanisms: changes in the public
attitudes towards smoking acceptability,
restriction that limit supply to youth, high
price to reduce product affordability, and
specific educational programs designed
to reduce acquisition of the smoking
Alcohol-related health problem
The consumption of alcohol is
important to public health because
it contributes to the etiology,
course, and outcome of numerous
acute and chronic physical,
psychological , and behavioral
Alcohol – related physical,
psychological and behavioral problems :

1- psychological- behavioral
2- acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome
3- GIT symptoms e.g. gastritis, cancers
4- respiratory symptoms e.g. T.B. ,
5- neurological e.g. epilepsy, head
Strategies for prevention
Recognition of the relationship among
per capita alcohol consumption, rates
of heavy use, and the incidence of
alcohol-related health problems has
focused attention on primary
prevention strategies aimed at the
drinking population, generally with the
principle objective of reducing per
capita alcohol consumption.
Strategies for prevention (cont.)
These strategies comprise two groups;
first health protection measures and
the second group is the health
promotion measures. The two
approaches are complementary and
interactive, and it is unlikely that one
would be effective without the other. A
third group of measures include
preventive health services.
 Strategies for prevention (cont.)

   Health promotion measures include
activities that individuals and
communities can use to promote health
life style. For example: public
education programs, health warning
labels, advertizing and marketing, and
media portrayals.
The importance of social factors in the
etiology of diseases is becoming
increasingly clear. The evidence of
some factors is weak or still unclear.
Nevertheless, we will need to use data
emerging from researches because
today most serious diseases are
influenced by the social environment.
Continuous research on social factors
must come an important priority in both
public health planning and program

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