Medical Subject Headings (MeSH): Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health outcomes. These factors can include:

Income and poverty: Low income is strongly associated with poor health outcomes and limited access to healthcare.

Education: Low educational attainment is linked to a higher risk of chronic diseases and lower life expectancy.

Housing: Poor quality housing, overcrowding, and homelessness can lead to a range of health problems, including respiratory infections and injuries.

Employment: Unstable or hazardous employment, unemployment, and low wages can contribute to poor health outcomes and stress.

Neighborhood and environment: Neighborhoods with poor air quality, limited access to healthy food, and high levels of crime can increase the risk of chronic diseases.

Race and ethnicity: Certain racial and ethnic groups experience disparities in access to healthcare and are more likely to experience poor health outcomes.

Gender: Women and men experience different health outcomes and face different barriers to accessing healthcare.

Understanding the social determinants of health is critical for improving health outcomes, reducing health disparities, and ensuring that healthcare resources are used effectively and efficiently. Healthcare providers can help address social determinants of health by addressing the root causes of health problems, partnering with community organizations, and advocating for policy changes that promote health equity.

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