It goes without saying that all Leading Health Indicators (LHIs) may be regarded as extremely significant for the improvement of people’s health and well-being. At the same time, in order to choose the most important indicators, it is important to consider their applicability to the majority of global community members all over the world. In other words, such indicators affect more people in comparison with others and impact individuals’ life quality.
Although LHIs that address specific health conditions, diseases, alcohol consumption, smoking, and substance abuse should be inevitably considered, not all people are affected by these issues. Thus, from a personal perspective, the most important LHIs are “Persons with medical insurance (<65 years)” and “Employment among the working-age population” (Healthy People 2030, n.d.). The first indicator reflects the objective to increase the proportion of people under 65 years with medical insurance. The second one refers to the increase of employment as a considerable number of working-age people worldwide face difficulties searching for a job.
The supreme importance of these LHIs is determined by the fact that they may be applied to almost all adults regardless of their age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, and education. At the same time, people’s health and general well-being strongly depend on them. Thus, people with medical insurance have more opportunities to visit health care providers, control their conditions, and be less vulnerable to serious chronic diseases. In turn, people who work have more positive health outcomes as they have the ability to provide care for themselves and their senior and young family members. As a result, multiple health issues may be avoided as well.
At the same time, I propose two additional indicators that are also essential for health improvement. The first one should be connected with breast cancer screening for women as this issue is highly severe and require particular attention. According to statistics, “breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021, para. 1). The second indicator should be related to the prevention and management of infections and viruses, including COVID-19. From a personal perspective, this indicator should be developed as with the occurrence and global spread of COVID-19, the situation with viruses will not stabilize in the nearest future. That is why it requires efficient preventative measures and developed response.
Creating LHIs for African-American and Hispanic communities, it is essential to consider all current health challenges for them, predominantly connected with discrimination in various spheres. In general, they include medical uninsurance and related health issues, such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases, unemployment, and low income that traditionally leads to criminal activities, homicides, violence, drug abuse, and alcohol consumption (Carratala & Maxwell, 2020).
That is why it is essential to eliminate discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity and provide marginalized communities with equal opportunities and access to health care. Thus, LHIs related to medical insurance and employment remain the most important for African-American and Hispanic community members as well. Subsequently, they help to reduce various issues reflected by other indicators, such as maternal and infant deaths, alcohol consumption, food insecurity, smoking, drug abuse, and even suicides (Healthy People 2030, n.d.). In addition, LHIs dedicated to the prevention and management of diabetes, cancer, and obesity among adults and adolescents are also essential as they deal with the most common health issues for minorities.
Carratala, S., & Maxwell, C. (2020). Health disparities by race and ethnicity. Center for American Progress. Web.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Breast cancer statistics. Web.
Healthy People 2030. (n.d.). Leading Health Indicators. Web.