Addressing Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities

A Vital Direction for Health and Health Care

Three lines of evidence—the relatively poor health status of the US population compared with other countries, the existence of health disparities, and fluctuations in health and health inequalities in relation to policy-driven changes in social conditions— point to the importance of policies that address social determinants. Such policies, although not typically viewed as “health policies,” have the potential to improve the health and longevity of all Americans and to reduce health disparities.

Citation: Adler NE, Cutler DM, Jonathan JE, Galea S, Glymour M, Koh HK, Satcher D. Addressing Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities. Discussion Paper, Vital Directions for Health and Health Care Series. Washington, DC: National Academy of Medicine; 2016.

Go back to Resources