What Is the Relationship Between Socioeconomic Status [Ses] and Health?

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According to the Whitehall Study conducted by British researchers, there are many determinates to your health. This includes: who you are, where you live, how much money you earn, and how you go about earning that money. When it comes to your health, it is not determined by health care systems but by influences such as social position, nutrition, and lifestyle choices. In this study, conducted in 1967, researchers focused their attention on a specific working group, civil servants. They conducted this study in a society where everyone is able to get health care, no one was poor and malnourished, and all participants made enough money to survive despite their socioeconomic status. To get to their results, the researchers “controlled for the differences between men in different occupations and examined the differences among men of different social classes in similar occupations.” This meant that they compared the health of the men, all with the same occupation, to their social economic status. The results of the study yielded that civil servants that were of lower class and lower status had higher rates of having common illnesses like stress, heart disease, and diabetes and they were also more likely to be overweight and perform less physical activity, all leading to higher mortality rates. The men in lower class were twice as likely to have cardiovascular problems then men in higher ranks. These results also showed that social factors also affect your health. Those that are in lower ranks of society are subjected to more social stress, which leads to higher chances of morbidity—general illness, and increased chances of smoking and unhealthy eating. Although this study was conducted over 40 years ago, the relationship between socioeconomic status and health is still seen currently. Today, lower class native-born Americans and immigrants see are affected by social

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