Tag Archives: social determinants of health

New Evidence on Social Isolation and Mortality

Daniel Goldberg examines a new study establishing the link between social isolation and mortality, and asks what these findings might reveal about the pathways leading to health inequalities. In his 2000 book Bowling Alone, sociologist Robert Putnam famously declared that “[i]f … Continue reading

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U.S. Health Disadvantage is Not Inevitable

Two major research studies in the last year compare health indicators in the United States with other major upper-income countries. Both exhaustively review government statistics and published articles. The first study, from the Institute of Medicine, draws on a panel … Continue reading

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The Oregon Health Study and the Medicalization of Health Policy

Daniel Goldberg considers the polarizing debate about the recently published results from the Oregon Health Study on public insurance — and argues that we may be missing the point. According to the website, the Oregon Health Study “is the first … Continue reading

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Social Factors and the Evaluation of Mental Disorders

The American Psychiatric Association is set to release the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) this month. These new guidelines will have a profound effect on how clinicians diagnose mental disorders, how health insurers … Continue reading

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Are Fragmented Cities Making us Unhealthy?

In Chicago there are 1,492 separate local government jurisdictions, including 366 school districts. In Miami there are only 36 jurisdictions, and 2 school districts. The fragmentation of local government has real political consequences: smaller districts can compete for the advantaged … Continue reading

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U.S. Disparities in Adolescent Homicide and Auto Fatalities Over Time

In health and social policy we often focus on problems that are bad and getting worse (think obesity or autism among children). Some problems are bad but getting better, and we can learn quite a lot from studying those problems … Continue reading

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Reconsidering the Link Between SES and Health in Whitehall

The Whitehall studies followed two cohorts of British civil servants over several decades and found a strong and steep gradient between higher occupational category and a range of mental and physical health outcomes. Much of the literature on Whitehall focuses … Continue reading

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Bringing Religion Back into the Study of Health Inequality

It’s a story that is recounted in every introductory sociology course: in the 1890s Emile Durkheim conducted a groundbreaking study to understand the variations and causes of suicide within industrializing French society. As Durkheim discovered, religious affiliation was a major … Continue reading

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A new agenda focused on health and community development

The health promotion field should start paying attention to community development, and vice versa. In the November issue of Health Affairs several authors (including my friend and mentor David Erickson) make the argument for better collaboration between practitioners, advocates, and … Continue reading

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Health Behaviors Do Not Explain the Growing Education-Mortality Gradient

The gap in premature mortality between high and low educated people in the United States has grown considerably over the last few decades, even as life expectancy has increased overall. A common explanation is the changing distribution of risk factors: … Continue reading

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