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Epidemiology/Demographics in Health

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In epidemiology, demographic data such as age, sex, race, ethnicity, social class, occupation, marital status, etc. contribute to variations in health status, health-related behavior, and use of health care services. How can a demographic factor impact health status, health-related behavior, or the use of health care services? Give a specific example. Do not use an example posted by another student.
How can a demographic factor impact health status, health-related behavior, or the use of health care services?

It is clear that there are many factors that can have an effect on the health of individuals and communities. There are many circumstances and environmental considerations that may play a role on whether people are healthy or not. Factors such as where we live, the state of our environment, genetics, our income and education level and our relationships with friends and families can all have major impacts on our health.
For example, our income and social status is a demographic factor that is intricately linked to our health. Higher income and social status results in better health. The greater the gap between the richest and the poorest people, the greater the differences in health.
I have decided to use as my example tooth loss.
Some key facts from the World Health Organization:
Key facts * Worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities. * Dental cavities can be prevented by maintaining a constant low level of fluoride in the oral cavity. * Severe periodontal (gum) disease, which may result in tooth loss, is found in 15–20% of middle-aged (35-44 years) adults. * Globally, about 30% of people aged 65–74 have no natural teeth. * Oral disease in children and adults is higher among poor and disadvantaged population groups. * Risk factors for oral diseases include an unhealthy diet, tobacco use, harmful alcohol use and poor oral hygiene, and social determinants.

Oral health is an integral component of overall health. Good oral health improves a person’s ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and make facial expressions to show feelings and emotions.
Poor oral health often leads to a decreased health status due to infections or abscesses. The person with poor oral health may limit their social function due to embarrassment. Poor dentition can have a detrimental effect on a person’s self-esteem and communication as people with tooth loss or dental caries may avoid conversations or avoid laughing or smiling. Tooth loss or a painful mouth may create nutritional deficiencies due to difficulty with chewing. The person with tooth loss or who is experiencing pain with chewing may avoid meats or firm foods such as fruit or fibrous foods.
People who have the least access to preventive services and dental treatment have greater rates of oral diseases. A person’s ability to access oral health care is associated with factors such as education level, income, race, and ethnicity.
The prevalence of oral disease varies by geographical region and availability and accessibility of oral health services. In a study conducted by the CDC respondents who had low income, low education, unhealthy behaviors (ex, former or current smokers and did not engage in physical activity), chronic conditions (ex, diabetes and obesity) or disabilities, and no dental insurance coverage were more likely to have fewer teeth. While exploring other resources I found that while there are multiple factors that lead to tooth loss the most prevalent and recurrent theme is that of lower socio-economic status that leads consistently to greater incidence of tooth loss over almost any other factor.
This is likely due to multiple factors, however, those who are in the lower socio-economic and of disadvantaged status traditionally have less education and are less likely to have the needed health insurance that includes a dental plan. http://www.cdc.gov/ http://www.who.int http://www.healthypeople.gov/ Author Candace Tiley CRNFA…...

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