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Social Determinants of Health

  • By: Stephen M. Yoshimura
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

The social environment is a well-known, consistent predictor of health and wellness. Broadly defined, the social determinants of health include all of the conditions under which humans live, including their political, economic, geographical, and personal circumstances. Economic stability, the qualities of one's neighborhood and built environment, access to quality education, access to health care, and the qualities of one's social and community context are core aspects of the social environment that can determine health. Differences in the qualities of these determinants are believed to affect the quality and length of life between and within groups across the world.

In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) formed the Commission on Social Determinants of Health to address disparities in the social qualities of health. In 2008, the commission ...

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