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.
Uniting top academics and high profile experts from across the country, this contributed volume is a unique undertaking that combines analysis of the current state of the social determinants of health, with explication of their effects. The contributions take a public policy approach that sees the mainsprings of health emerging from the social distribution of resources. The collection as a whole integrates insights from the health sciences, the sociology of health, and the political economy of health.
Critical areas of investigation:
Dennis Raphael, PhD, is a Professor of Health Policy and Management at York University. The most recent of his over 250 scientific publications have focused on the health effects of income inequality and poverty, the quality of life of communities and individuals, and the impact of government decisions on Canadians’ health and well-being. Dr. Raphael is editor of Tackling Health Inequalities: Lessons from International Experiences and Health Promotion and Quality of Life in Canada; co-editor of Staying Alive: Critical Perspectives on Health, Illness, and Health Care; and author of Poverty in Canada: Implications for Health and Quality of Life.
"Dennis Raphael has articulated a vision. This book updates the progress to date in the scholarship and evidence of the interventions that can improve the overall health of the population and reduce health disparities, which will allow tens of thousands, and maybe even millions, of Canadians to lead longer lives in better health."— “The Hon. Carolyn Bennett