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Wider determinants of health

Wider determinants, also known as social determinants, are a diverse range of social, economic and environmental factors which impact on people’s health. These factors are influenced by the local, national and international distribution of power and resources which shape the conditions of daily life. Wider determinants define the extent to which different individuals have the physical, social and personal resources to identify and achieve goals, meet their needs and deal with changes to their circumstances.

Several studies have attempted to estimate the contribution of the wider determinants to population health, finding that wider determinants have a greater influence on health than health care, behaviours or genetics. It is, therefore, an important aspect of public health in terms of informing preventative action and reducing inequality.

The following chapters highlight some of the topics within the wider determinants of health section.

Page last updated: 30 June 2020

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