Social Determinants of Health

 We have presented some statistics on several health disparities faced by Black Americans this month. The people working to reduce these disparities are working towards health equity. Health equity, according to the American Public Health Association, is the opportunity for all people to achieve their best health. In order to do this, some factors that can create barriers to or facilitate best health have been identified. Though terminology sometimes varies, they are generally quality affordable healthcare, educational opportunities, housing, discrimination or Minority stressors, food security and access to healthy foods, stable income and job security, environmental quality, and neighborhood conditions. These factors are complicated, and often related to one another. Having a stable and healthy environment, accessing continuous and quality services, and being free of an unhealthy environment are thought to be the building blocks for health equity. Working to increase access and stability, and reduce the harm of an unhealthy environment is the current path away from disparities and toward equity.

For those interested in how we can use the health disparity data to move towards equity, the CDC has many resources here:

Social Determinants of Health

Infographic titled The Path to Achieving Health Equity

What social and economic factors must be addressed on the path to achieving Health Equity?

A central bubble has the words ”HEALTH is affected by” inside. Connected to the central bubble are 8 other bubbles with attached words: discrimination/minority stressors, food security and access to healthy foods, stable income and job security, environmental quality, neighborhood conditions, quality affordable healthcare, educational opportunities, and housing.

Health equity aims to ensure that all people have full and equal access to opportunities that enable them to lead healthy lives.

This infographic was created by the Health Equity Institute for Research, Practice and Poli

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Annette B. Gadegbeku, MD

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