Since the 1970s, the concept of health has undergone a major transformation, from the mere absence of disease to a multifactored outcome. Initially, it was believed that there was one specific cause (e.g., a germ) for any illness, and treating the illness was the basic approach to health. Later, it was increasingly recognized that health was determined by a complex combination of biological, psychosocial, behavioral, and environmental factors that can operate independently, cumulatively, or interactively across an individual’s lifespan, as well as across generations, to influence health and disease development. The World Health Organization defines health as a “physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Newer concepts of health perceive it as a multidimensional dynamic state of well-being ...

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