Swimming Upstream: Meeting the Challenges of Social Determinants of Health

A recent blog post by Community Hospital Corporation details the nonclinical aspects that are a part of health outcomes and the scientific research supporting those aspects.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Community Hospital Corporation's website.

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 residence. Those who lived in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods (defined by a set of measures of socioeconomic deprivation) were at higher risk for rehospitalization. Nearly a third of rural patients lived in such locations. Click here to continue>>




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