NIH launches nationwide survey to study social determinants of health 

The National Institutes of Health has started collecting data for one initiative in their All of Us project research program, which aims to shed light on social determinants of health.

The program currently has more than 350,000 participants and aims to recruit 1 million or more. The respondents will share information on their health and genetics as well as social conditions to advance precision medicine and knowledge of social determinants of health. The collected data will be available to approved researchers.

Other research has shown that social determinants of health may account for between 30 percent and 55 percent of health outcomes. The survey aims to understand more about these social determinants. 

"Health is about more than our DNA, or what happens at the doctor's office — it is influenced by a range of factors. Our daily experiences matter to our physical and mental health," said Josh Denny, MD, CEO of All of Us Research Program. 

Participants are asked to rate their agreement with a variety of statements that cover several topics. One topic is the local neighborhood, including how welcoming and safe it is and how close it is to amenities like public transit and grocery stores. Another large portion of the questions examine the respondent's relationship with others, including how isolated they feel and if they have trusted companions. The participants' relationship with physicians and medical professionals is also included to gage trust in medical institutions. 

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