How Human Behaviour May Influence Health And Disease

Essay by flozzyUniversity, Master'sB+, March 2004

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The state of our health is very important to us, we spend a lot of time and money on trying to stay healthy, but what do we mean by "Health"? The world Health Organisation (WHO) describes health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being which is more than just the absence of disease.

Infectious Diseases

An infectious disease is caused by the invasion of a pathogen. A pathogen is an organism which invades the body causing disease. Infectious diseases are spread by humans (carriers) or by vectors e.g. insects, fly's. In other words, it must be possible to pass the pathogen from one individual to another. Such infectious diseases include: colds, influenza, T.B, measles and cholera.

To be included under the term infectious disease are STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) such as: HIV/AIDS, syphilis and chlamidia. Because the method of transmission of the pathogen is usually by sexual activity.


Non-Infectious Diseases

A substantial number of diseases are caused by Lifestyle, Starvation, Ageing and Genetics.

Degenerative diseases like Osteoarhritis and Alzheimers disease are seen as a result of ageing.

Genetic diseases such as Cystic Fribrosis and Down's Syndrome are inherited or because of their genetic combination.

Deficiency diseases such as Rickets and Scurvy are caused due to a lack of certain vitamins or minerals in the diet

Self-Inflicted diseases such as Lung Cancer, Alcohol Abuse, Anorexia and Bulimia are caused by people's lifestyles, environment and maybe lack of education and awareness.

We are concerned with infectious diseases, sexually transmitted diseases and lifestyle diseases. All the diseases that fit under one of the above titles can be reduced or even eradicated, if humans change their attitudes and behaviours towards them.

Below is a list of some of...