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Health Issues and Socio-Economic Status

            Socio-Economic status (SES) is known as a mix of social and economic factors which affect individuals or groups of individuals (NHC 1998). These factors have been shown to have a significant impact on health outcomes of individuals (NHC 1998). In this essay, I will discuss the different methods in which SES inequality is measured through different measure of SES as well as describing some of the key health issues which arise from smoking. I will also explain how this inequality is caused using four different factors as well as, whether this inequality can be considered as an inequity.
             As mentioned before the major health issues arising from smoking is Lung Cancer, Stroke and CHD. Generally it has been observed that those whose SES is lower than another, will have worse health outcomes (NHC 1998). .
             The differences between those with lower and higher SES are the socioeconomic inequalities (NHC 1998). Studies have shown that the related health issues due to smoking such as Lung Cancer, Stroke and Coronary heart disease (CHD) (WHO) are impacted by SES (cancer society). Lung cancer however, is perhaps the highest cause of death in smokers than any other health issue. Smoking causes lung cancer due to the carcinogens which are inhaled by the smoker, and by people immediately around them (NCJI carcinogen article). These carcinogens interact with DNA and cause genetic changes which leads to the growth of cancer cells (NCJI carcinogen article). In New Zealand an estimated 1700 cancer deaths per year are due to smoking at 23% of all cancer deaths (cancer society 2). 82% of those deaths were caused by lung cancer (cancer society 2). .
             To understand the inequality between higher and lower SES groups, it is imperative to consider how SES is measured. The three major SES measures are income, education and occupation (Helsinki). Examining smoking by these measures of SES will show how the inequality between SES groups is measured.

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