There Are 5 Social Determinants of Health—Here’s What That Means, and How They Influence Your Care

June 9, 2021

Wellness has typically been viewed in terms of diet, exercise, and, more recently, mental health. It’s easy to assume that if you’re taking care of these elements, your overall health is in good shape. While that can be true on one level, other factors also go into determining how healthy you are, things you may not have given much thought.

An important group of factors getting more attention lately are the social determinants of health. You can’t calculate them as easily as, say, how many cups of veggies you should eat in a day. They’re the things within your social and physical environment that shape the healthy practices and habits of your upbringing and day-to-day life. Though you may not consciously think about them, they have a powerful influence.

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“People who lack insurance and therefore have to pay for care out of pocket are more likely to avoid seeking screening or treatment, which means they will suffer worse outcomes such as more or worse symptoms, faster progression of illness, and in some cases, premature mortality,” Dawne Mouzon, PhD, MPH, associate professor at the Rutgers Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, tells Health.

Health, June 7, 2021

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