Swimming Upstream: Meeting the Challenges of Social Determinants of Health
It’s been said that patients’ ZIP codes matter more than their genetic codes when it comes to health status. That’s because certain conditions in the places where people live, work, learn and play can pose greater health risks and poorer outcomes. In public health terms, these conditions are called social determinants of health or, sometimes, upstream determinants of health. Basically, the concept is that nonclinical factors influence health outcomes.
Scientific research has proven the concept holds. The Annals of Internal Medicine in 2014 examined rehospitalizations based on patients’ place of...