Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts

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Richard G. Wilkinson, M. G. Marmot
World Health Organization, Jan 1, 2003 - Medical - 31 pages
2 Reviews
Poorer people live shorter lives and are more often ill than the rich. This disparity has drawn attention to the remarkable sensitivity of health to the social environment.
This publication examines this social gradient in health, and explains how psychological and social influences affect physical health and longevity. It then looks at what is known about the most important social determinants of health today, and the role that public policy can play in shaping a social environment that is more conducive to better health.
This second edition relies on the most up-to-date sources in its selection and description of the main social determinants of health in our society today. Key research sources are given for each: stress, early life, social exclusion, working conditions, unemployment, social support, addiction, healthy food and transport policy.
Policy and action for health need to address the social determinants of health, attacking the causes of ill health before they can lead to problems. This is a challenging task for both decision-makers and public health actors and advocates. This publication provides the facts and the policy options that will enable them to act.
  

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Page 32 - Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
Page 4 - WHO secures broad international distribution of its publications and encourages their translation and adaptation. By helping to promote and protect health and prevent and control disease, WHO's books contribute to achieving the Organization's principal objective - the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health.
Page 12 - Stress Social and psychological circumstances can cause long-term stress. Continuing anxiety, insecurity, low self-esteem, social isolation, and lack of control over work and home life have powerful effects on health. Such psychosocial risks accumulate during life and increase the chances of poor mental health and premature death. Long periods of anxiety and insecurity and the lack of supportive friendships are damaging in whatever area of life they arise.
Page 22 - On the other hand, people who receive less social and emotional support from others are more likely to experience less well-being, more depression, a greater risk of pregnancy complications and higher levels of disability from chronic diseases (Oxman et al.
Page 25 - In: Jha P, Chaloupka F, eds. Tobacco control in developing countries. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2000:41 -61.
Page 17 - Mackenbach J, Bakker M, eds. Reducing inequalities in health: a European perspective. London, Routledge, 2002.
Page 26 - Social gradients in diet quality and nutrient sources contribute to health inequalities. People on low incomes - such as young families, elderly people and the unemployed - are least able to eat well, and are often tied to their locality (Wilkinson and Marmo«, 1998).
Page 24 - Addiction: Individuals turn to alcohol, drugs and tobacco and suffer from their use, but use is influenced by the wider social setting.
Page 11 - A minimum income for healthy living, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 54(12): 885-9.
Page 21 - Employment status and health after privatisation in white collar civil servants: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal...

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About the author (2003)

Richard Wilkinson is a professor emeritus of social epidemiology at the University of Nottingham Medical School and an honorary professor at University College London.

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