Minority Health Archive

Social Epidemiology: Social Determinants of Health in the United States: Are We Losing Ground?

Berkman, Lisa F. (2009) Social Epidemiology: Social Determinants of Health in the United States: Are We Losing Ground? Annual Review of Public Health, 30 (1). pp. 27-41. ISSN 0163-7525

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Abstract

The United States ranks in the lower tiers of OECD countries in life expectancy, and recent studies indicate that socioeconomic inequalities in health have been widening in the past decades. Over this period, many rigorous longitudinal studies have identified important social, behavioral, and environmental conditions that might reduce health disparities if we could design effective interventions and make specific policy changes to modify them. Often, however, neither our policy changes nor our interventions are as effective as we hoped they would be on the basis of findings from observational studies. Reviewed here are issues related to causal inference and potential explanations for the discrepancy between observational and experimental studies. We conclude that more attention needs to be devoted to (a) identifying the correct etiologic period within a life-course perspective and (b) understanding the dynamic interplay between interventions and the social, economic, and environmental contexts in which interventions are delivered.


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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available at the publisher’s Web site. Access to the full text is subject to the publisher’s access restrictions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: life expectancy, socioeconomic inequalities in health, health disparities, interventions, policy
Subjects: Health > Health Equity
Health > Disparities
Health > Policy
Practice > interventions
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Depositing User: Users 141 not found.
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2011 11:41
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2011 11:41
Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/2619

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