Discussion: Key Health Determinants Did you know that the United States has a higher rate of infant mortality than Japan (CIA, n.d.)? Or, as Dr. Beilenson states in this week’s media presentation, that “your zip code that you live in makes more difference in your health and well-being than the genetic code that you’re born with?” What causes these differences in health outcomes? To effectively develop policies and programs to improve population health, it is useful to use a framework to guide the process. Different organizations and governmental agencies (for example, Healthy People 2020) have created a variety of such frameworks, which establish measures for assessing population health. These measures frequently are derived from the examination of epidemiologic data, which include key measures of population health such as mortality, morbidity, life expectancy, etc. Within each measure are a variety of progress indicators that use epidemiologic data to assess improvement or change. For this Discussion, you will apply a framework developed by Kindig, Asada, and Booske (2008) to a population health issue of interest to you. This framework includes five key health determinants that should be considered when developing policies and programs to improve population health: access to health care, individual behavior, social environment, physical environment, and genetics. To prepare: Review the article “A Population Health Framework for Setting National and State Health Goals,” focusing on population health determinants. Review the information in the blog post “What Is Population Health?” With this information in mind, elect a population health issue that is of interest to you. Using this week’s Learning Resources, the Walden Library, and other relevant resources, conduct a search to locate current data on your population health issue. Consider how epidemiologic data has been used to design population health measures and policy initiatives in addressing this issue. By Day 3 Post a summary of how the five population health determinants (access to health care, individual behavior, social environment, physical environment, and genetics) affect your selected health issue, and which determinants you think are most impactful for that particular issue and why. Explain how epidemiologic data supports the significance of your issue, and explain how this data has been used in designing population health measures and policy initiatives.
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