Social Determinants of Health

The Social Determinants of Health (SDH) are defined by the World Health Organization as "the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life". These forces and systems include economic policies and systems, development agendas, social norms and policies, and political systems. These conditions can be very different for various population subgroups, and can lead to disparities in health outcomes. The experience of such conditions may simply be unavoidably different, in which case they are considered inequalities, or they may in fact be unnecessary and avoidable, in which case they are considered inequities and therefore appropriate targets for policies designed to increase equity.