Social Determinants of Health: Canadian Perspectives, Second Edition

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Genetics and traditional risk factors such as activity, diet, and tobacco use cannot reliably predict whether we stay healthy or become ill. What then are the primary predictors of adult-onset diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, and many other diseases? The social determinants of health provide the answer: these are the socio-economic conditions that shape the health of individuals, communities, and jurisdictions as a whole. Social determinants establish the extent to which Canadians possess the resources to identify and achieve personal aspirations, satisfy needs, and cope with the environment. This perspective is the key to understanding patterns of health and illness in Canada today.

Editor Dennis Raphael is a Professor at the School of Health Policy and Management at York University.

For more information, see Social Determinants of Health