Good health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. It is achieved by maintaining the body and taking preventive measures to reduce the possibility of diseases.
The health of individuals is influenced by their genes, environment and other factors. It is also affected by their lifestyle choices and health habits, such as diet and exercise.
Life expectancy is an estimate of the average number of years a person can expect to live. It is based on age-specific mortality rates and differs considerably by gender, age, race, and geographic location.
It is calculated based on mortality experience during an observed period, usually a calendar year. This means that it is not aimed at assessing anyone’s actual average length of life but is merely a way of summarising the age specific death rates experienced by a synthetic cohort throughout their lifetime, rather than those of people who lived during that period (known as LE).
During the 20th century, improvements in health and medical care resulted in increases in all age groups. Increases in child mortality were largely offset by reductions in deaths from cancer and heart disease, among other causes.
Quality of life
A person’s quality of life is an important metric that measures their overall well-being. This includes factors such as health, employment status, social support, and access to cultural activities and leisure opportunities.
Unlike traditional measurements of health, such as X-rays and blood tests, quality of life is a subjective assessment of an individual’s health status. It takes into account their goals, expectations, and concerns and can be a helpful tool for healthcare professionals.
Measurements of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) have become increasingly popular in the United States as a way to supplement traditional measures of morbidity and mortality. HRQOL is also considered a stepping stone to bridge the gap between medicine, social services, and the mental health field.
Health care costs
Health care costs are a significant factor in our lives. They impact our ability to work, pay for education and healthcare, and live a healthy lifestyle.
Moreover, they can lead to medical debt that can be hard for people to manage. Four in ten adults (41%) report having some type of health care debt, including debts owed to credit cards, collections agencies, family and friends, banks, and other lenders. This burden is particularly severe for Black and Hispanic adults, women, parents, those with low incomes, and uninsured adults.
Health care prices in the United States are higher than in many other developed countries, reflecting market and non-market factors. This includes market concentration (Cooper et al., 2019) and other factors that make it difficult for patients to assess prices or quality. It also may reflect rents resulting from market imperfections, such as excess administrative costs.
Access to health care
Access to healthcare is a fundamental aspect of health that affects every person in the world. Regardless of their social or economic status, people must be able to receive quality care that is affordable and acceptable to them.
In a global context, the barriers to access to healthcare may vary by country, but there are also common elements that are present in many countries. These include environmental obstacles, such as the location of providers and access to healthcare resources, as well as financial obstacles, such as prices charged by providers.
Despite this, the concept of access to healthcare has been increasingly discussed in recent years. However, it remains a complex notion that is often interpreted in different ways. Consequently, it is crucial to rethink the way we think about the concept of access in order to better identify and measure relevant determinants at the population and system level.