5 – Socioeconomic Disease Clusters


Socioeconomic Diseases are those with a history of development and progression related to the combination of poverty, the domestic environment, societal, cultural and family expectations, and mental health.

Socioeconomic status influences the state one is in relative to all other parts of his/her social and economic setting.  SES can generally be interpreted and broken down further by the use of certain cultural and range of income features.   In the poorer communities, like the homeless and house squatters, there is a layering of the poor into specific groups.  Hispanics are very much living separately from non-hispanics. The social scene between teens to early twenty year olds range from the 1980s and 1990s skin head type groups, to the gothics and the like.  There are some distinct socioculturally-defined disease or health differences between these groups.  Prostitution, drug abuse, street violence and the like are not as uniformly distributed across these groups as common unhealthy behaviors like high rates of sexual activity, expecting mothers, alcoholic beverage consumption, tobacco smoking, cannabis engagement, poor diet.  Support services for some of these groups help to improve their health outcomes over time, but not all groups are equally represented or supported.


The most common feature demographers and health statisticians consider when viewing populations of people is where they exist in a community and social setting relative to others in terms of income status and related social behaviors and activities.  When members of street populations are very young, the problem leading up to this lifestyle is often more serious than events leading up to teen age and older teen age runaways.

One of the more helpful ways of interpreting socioeconomic status or SES is to consider the following independent variables as they relate to the behavior, physical state and health of people, either as individuals or as communities and social groups.


The following are defined as diseases related to SES.

Poverty/QOL/SES-related Diseases, Behaviors, Conditions, Problems

Examples of questions these findings pose:

  1. If you were to start an intervention program meant to deal with just one of the above problems, what would it be?
  2. What would your second choice be and why?
  3. Which might be the easiest to develop an intervention program for, in terms or anticipated completion, success, and definitive statistical signs of short and long term improvements?
  4. Which 3 problems, diagnoses and conditions have the most financial and chronic disease management value attached to their successed?
  5. Which require long term commitment to intervention program development?


ICDs are not the only way to review human behavior and health.  With Emergent Care codes (E-codes) and V-codes, we can evaluate conditions that are important to the quality of life and lifespan for two of the highest risk groups–children and retired individual >70 years of age.  Employing this method, expecting mothers, newborns, young children and teens can be reviewed, as demonstrated by the following map videos.  .