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Social & Behavioral Determinants of Health Data

What are the Determinants of Health?

Determinants of Health (Archived CDC page)

The determinants of health are interrelated with each other. For example, policymaking can affect individual behaviors such as the reduction of smoking through significant taxation on cigarettes. The expansion of Medicaid in many states through the Affordable Care Act (policymaking) resulted in increased access to health care for millions of people.

This Social & Behavioral Determinants of Health (this LibGuide) focuses on social factors (which includes social determinants of health and physical determinants of health) as well as individual behavior.

What are the Social Determinants of Health?

What are the social determinants of health?

The Healthy People program, out of the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, defines social determinants of health this way: 

"Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks."

Social determinants of health can be broken out broadly into 5 domains:

Key resources

Interventions and resources (such as article overviews and links to reports from other groups) for each SDOH are available from the Healthy People 2030 SDOH page.

About the Social Determinants of Health

Brief history of social determinants of health

Much of how we think about the social determinants of health (SDOH) has been shaped by Sir Michael Marmot. The book he is most closely associated with, The Social Determinants of Health, was originally published in 1999; a 2nd edition was published in 2005. He served as chair of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health and on the report Closing the Gap in a Generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health, published in 2008 and also known as the Marmot Review. To learn more about his life, his philosophies, and his initiatives, read the interview with Sir Marmot which appeared in Health Affairs in 2020. Sir Marmot was a keynote speaker at the 2013 APHA Annual Meeting. View Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 on YouTube, available on YouTube.

Of note are the 6 policy objectives that came from  final report, Fair Society Healthy Lives:

  1. Give every child the best start in life
  2. Enable all children, young people and adults to maximise their capabilities and have control over their lives
  3. Create fair employment and good work for all
  4. Ensure healthy standard of living for all
  5. Create and develop healthy and sustainable places and communities
  6. Strengthen the role and impact of ill-health prevention

Mapping SDOH

Quick Maps of Social Determinants of Health

Produced by: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division for Heart Disease and Prevention
Geographic Coverage: County and State level date
Dates of Coverage: Most current available
About: Static maps showing rates by county; downloadable data as XLS file