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Most lay people say that their health is more important than anything else. Though people value health, few question what it means. When asked, people define health in many ways depending on sociodemographic factors, on behaviour or personal factors, and on their culture. For example, common descriptions of health may include references to not being ill, absence of disease, behavioural functioning, role functioning, physical fitness, energy and vitality, emotional well-being, and social relationships. Even answers to the salutation ‘how are you?’ can be considered a general index of health or well-being (Feinstein, 1987).

Experts also define health in many ways and there is no right or wrong definition of health. However, few would disagree with the notion that health is a important dimension of quality of ...

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