Understanding Population Health & Its Determinant Factors
Understanding Population Health

Understanding population health is essential because it enables us to determine the most effective ways to treat and prevent disease. Several factors are involved in determining health, including Biological, Behavioral, Sociocultural, and Economic factors. These factors can have an impact on health outcomes and death rates.


Biological determinants of health are factors that affect specific populations more than others. For example, older adults are biologically susceptible to many diseases that come with aging, including physical and cognitive conditions. Also, genetic factors can influence the risk of future health conditions, such as sickle cell disease. This disease is inherited, and people with two parents with the sickle cell gene are more likely to develop it.

Environmental factors also play a role in population health. These include factors that affect the environment and behaviors. Socioeconomic factors include factors such as income and education. Healthcare determinants include factors such as access to hospital care. Behavior determinants include physical activity, nutrition, and alcohol consumption.


Behavioral predictors of population health influence health and well-being across the lifespan. They include childhood experiences, socioeconomic conditions, psychological characteristics, and health behaviors. Despite this, only a few research have looked into how these factors affect mortality and health, according to the population health management journal. The current study analyzes the impact of these factors within a multidisciplinary framework.

The authors used data from the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative survey of adults aged 52 to 104. They found that various early life health factors, psychological factors, and social circumstances were among the strongest predictors of mortality. The researchers also found that a combination of early life factors and health behaviors were among the best predictors of all-cause mortality.


Cultural and sociocultural factors influence population health in many ways. These factors include traditional foods, cultural beliefs and values, and how people spend their time. They are often passed down through the family, so a strong sense of belonging to a culture can promote positive social health. Different cultures have a different views of health and lifestyle, but some common elements in all cultures affect health. For example, Mediterranean cultures have a high-fat diet and a high intake of vegetables. On the other hand, Japanese cultures eat a low-meat diet and consume a lot of fresh vegetables.

The SEM framework tailors a variety of ecological theories to public health structures, identifying the range of factors that influence health behavior and influencing multiple intervention points. This makes the complexities of health delivery visible.


To understand the health effects of various policies, a good understanding of the economic determinants of health is essential. However, these policies are often complex, and their impacts can be unpredictable. The complexities can arise from feedback loops, phase shifts, and varying effects across different policy instruments. For example, a change in an income tax threshold may alter eligibility for an income supplementation scheme and affect take-home income counterintuitively. In addition, policies can have different effects on different subgroups of the population. As a result, it is necessary to build a policy model to accurately predict how a policy change will affect a population’s overall health.

Economic determinants can influence overall health in many ways, from individual health to population health. Research consistently links economic development with improved health, while poverty has been linked to poor health and premature death. However, quantifying the health effects of these economic factors is challenging, mainly because the effects of economic recessions on health may vary significantly.


Ecological approaches to public health are based on the assumption that multiple levels of influence are involved in shaping population health and that these influences are mutually reinforcing. Individuals may experience environmental influences differently, depending on their cultural and social context, but improving health in a community depends on targeting multiple factors simultaneously.

The complexity of the ecological model lies in the relationships between individual and social determinants. For example, personal characteristics and social interactions influence individual perceptions, which may combine with beliefs to create new behaviors.