Question 1 (2000 words)

Critically discuss the main theoretical explanations put forward to explain the pathways and mechanisms underlying the social gradient in health. How do these explanations improve our understanding of public health problems such as smoking, teenage pregnancy, CHD, stroke and so forth?


(N.B. The main focus of this assignment should be health inequalities and their explanations. The focus should not be a discussion of particular public health problems)


  1. Introduction

Health inequalities may be referred to as disparities that exist in health. Research has shown that such inequalities are mainly caused by differences in socio-economic factors among communities (Exeter, Boyle and Norman, 2011). In the same vein, studies have shown that communities of perceived low socio-economic status suffer more from health-related problems than those from higher socio-economic status. Socio-economic status is determined by the level of income, education status and occupational class(Nisbet,2019). This discussion seeks to examine the theoretical frameworks that explain health inequalities in the UK, and how they can enhance better understanding of the underlying causes. This is expected to provide insight into possible intervention.

  1. Health Inequalities in the UK

Social gradient in health is measured on the basis of various factors, including social-economic status. Such social class inequalities are more common for all major illnesses. For instance, for the period 2011-2017, male life expectancy at birth improved progressively in the most deprived areas. Nonetheless, no notable change occurred in the least deprived areas. This led to a reducing gap between the most and the least deprived areas from 7.5 years in 2011 to 2013 to 7.1 years in 2015 to 2017 period (Hosseinpoor et al. 2018).Female life expectancy over the same period remained fairly constant in both the most and least deprived areas. Alcohol and other substance abuse indicators showed the largest health inequalities over the period.  Further, Mortality rate from these indicators in the most deprived areas was about four and a half times the rates in the least deprived areas (Ibid)….Kindly click on the purchase icon to  access the full solution at $10.