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Education and Health Outcomes

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Health inequities are contributed by different socioeconomic factors such as income, education, racism as well as housing. Education is a pillar aspect in the life of an individual because it determines the social status of an individual thus their lifestyle. As such, education is a key determinant of health outcomes of a person. As it is, health advocates are campaigning on education to reduce different health inequities especially those that require general and simple educational concepts to eliminate. This was after the release of reports that education would have helped saves more lives than medical innovations. Education plays a major role in the promotion of health outcomes because other socio determinants of health such as employment, and income are associated with education (Marmot, et al., 2012). Consequently, solving the issue of illiteracy alleviates joblessness and poverty thus improving the health outcomes.

People who have attained higher levels of education are likely to acquire better jobs. As such, the income accumulated gives the person the resources required to access better health care services as opposed to people with little amounts or no income. Rich people can afford to seek the best medical care even for simple illnesses as opposed to the poor who have to rely on government sponsored health facilities. These facilities are poorly equipped regarding caregivers as well as medical supply and hence poor health outcomes for people who use these services (Marmot, et al., 2012).

Apart from that, educated people can make better health choices since they have access to wide range of health benefits. For instance, most uneducated individuals do not know the essence of subscribing to health insurance. As a result, their health outcomes are compromised as opposed to those who are insured. The reason behind this scenario is the fact individuals with better health insurance programs use more physician services as opposed to those without insurance. As well, educated individuals are unlikely to suffer from frequent illnesses especially the ones related to mental instability (Cutler & Lleras, 2012). Additionally, they have better skills of dealing with stress as opposed to uneducated persons. Furthermore, since they are employed, they encounter less stress related life situations as opposed to people who are uneducated.

The social status of an individual is an important pointer of their lifestyle. Most educated people run in higher and influential social circles, which influences their choices regarding lifestyle and the neighborhoods they live in. People with less education are likely to live in poorly kept neighborhoods thus lacking basic resources such as sanitation, water as well as security. Poor sanitation is the leading cause of contagious illnesses such as cholera and typhoid (Cutler & Lleras, 2012). As such, educated people are likely to avoid such illnesses because they live in clean neighborhoods with safe drinking water as well as proper sanitation. Some diseases such as malaria are considered to be poor man’s disease because they mostly affect people with less education due to lack of information on preventative measures.

Well-educated individuals have been observed to make healthier life choices involving diet and exercise. Uneducated persons lack the most basic information concerning balanced diet as well as calorie count. As such, they are likely to suffer from lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, and blood pressure. Apart from that, educated people are also conscious about their weight and therefore like to engage in routine exercise especially enrolment into gyms for daily exercise. As well, they are keen on their food choices because they understand the essence of maintaining essential calories only. Uneducated individuals are likely to live below the poverty line due to lack of better fulfilling jobs thus lacking basic needs such as food and clothing (Mirowsky & Ross, 2010). As such, these people suffer from marasmus and other dietary illnesses as a result of a deficiency of essential minerals and ions in their diet such as kwashiorkor.

Teenagers who drop out of school at high school level are likely to engage in dangerous behaviors. Some of them engage in drug abuse, a behavior that, negatively affects their health outcomes. Drug abuse leads to addiction thus the lack of self-consciousness, which amounts to poor health, and even high chances of death. It has also been observed that less educated individuals especially the youth engage in reckless sexual activities thus increasing their chances of contracting sexually transmitted infections in addition to unwanted pregnancies. Educated individuals are observant on protection methods because they understand the risks involved (Montez &Hummer, 2012). Consequently, their health outcomes are better than those of their uneducated counterparts are. For instance, the number of single mothers is higher among populations with high numbers of uneducated individuals. Educated young girls have better access to contraception information including the internet thus able to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies.

Engagement in criminal activities by school dropouts also contributes to poor health outcomes due to direct violent activities. The activities can result in traumatic disorders especially for children and the elderly. Also, violence results in high mortality rates of the youth involved in the criminal gangs as well as the community at large. It is also impossible for public amenities such as hospitals to thrive in crime-infested communities due to lack of security and safety for caregivers as well as the patients, especially during the night. Educated people are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as smoking and drinking which contribute to chronic illnesses. As such, cases of lung and liver problems are lower as opposed to those of individuals who have little or no education (Ross & Wu, 2011).

 Child development is also an aspect that requires education, especially for mothers. Children born to uneducated mothers are likely to develop different forms of illness such as being underweight as well as malnutrition. This is due to lack of prenatal and postnatal care for these women. Consequently, their children are likely to experience poor health outcomes as opposed to children born of educated parents who have access and ability to seek for information concerning child development (Viner et al., 2012). For instance, child mortality is high among less educated populations as opposed to highly educated populations.   Education brings about confidence and social connections. As such, educated persons are well equipped for easy access to variations of health options as opposed to those who are not educated. For instance, contraception methods differ for different women thus different outcomes. Educated women are keen to choose the methods that do not have major negative impacts on their reproductive health. On the other hand, the uneducated cannot even tell the difference between these methods, and lack the confidence to make inquiries. Therefore, they use contraception, which causes health issues for their reproductive health.

People with high levels of education are also keen on embracing technology and health advances to improve their health outcomes. As such, they are not reluctant to use new medication as well as new health concepts. However, since uneducated individuals have no access to information, they tend to take time before they can comfortably accept new techniques. For instance, when the antiretroviral drugs were discovered, educated people who have HIV were not opposed to the new regime thus started using the drugs thus boosting their immunity (Bostock & Steptoe, 2012). However, uneducated individuals were still tied to the myths and beliefs surrounding the use and mechanism of the drugs opting to live without them. Consequently, their mortality rate increased while most suffered from opportunistic infections because of deteriorating immune system.   

In conclusion, education is a key factor in the alleviation of health inequities thus improving health outcomes because it influences an individual’s behavior as well as lifestyle. As such, education gaps that result in a lack of proper education should be eliminated to ensure that people get enough and proper education despite their race, income or social status. As such, most people will have the skills and ability to access health information and services thus making beneficial choices in life. As a result, the disparities in health outcomes between the educated and less educated will be eliminated (Goldman &Smith, 2011).

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