There are several factors which directly or indirectly affect the health. Among these social, cultural, and environmental factors play dominant role for determining the individual and group health.
The social groups to which people belong are the family, the kinship and caste, religion, village, town or city and the state. Pertaining to health, people in the upper racial hierarchy enjoy better physical facilities than those in the lower rungs of society.
Differences in material resources, i.e. income, wealth and possession of tools which can promote or help to achieve better health, also intervene in the occurrence of disease or in the maintenance of health status in different social groups the educational level varies in different social classes.
The ignorant and the illiterate are likely to face most difficulty in pursuing measures which may conduce to health The attitude of people to health and sickness may vary in different social classes, which may account for differences in distribution of disease in the social classes.
Religion is another important attribute of the individual which may have tremendous bearing on the health of the people. Religion which has a bearing on the socio-cultural patterns of living involving age old habits, customs and traditions affecting cleanliness, eating clothing, childcare and almost every detail of daily living.
Differences in health and sickness are marked among the people living in rural and urban areas. Because they differ in their lifestyles, opinions and values which, have a bearing on the health and sickness. Economic status is an important determinant of community health. Though poverty never appears on a death certificate, yet it is the most important causes of death in India.
Poverty causes illness by depriving man of his basic needs of shelter and adequate nutrition. Low economic status is evident in the high morbidity rates of cancer, arthritis and other chronic disorders. 1 hush the social life of an individual affects the health in a great way.
Culture is the product of human societies and man is largely a product of his cultural environment. Culture stands for the customs, beliefs, laws, religion and moral percepts Cultural factors in health and disease have engaged the attention of medical scientists. It is now fairly established that cultural factors are deeply involved in matters of personal hygiene, nutrition, immunization, outlook on health and disease, in short, the whole way of life.