San Francisco Burden of Disease & Injury Study:
Determinants of Health
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Social Inequality/Low Socio-Economic Status (SES)

The hierarchical social and economic structures of society create a gradient of health disparities. People further down the social ladder usually run at least twice the risk of serious illness and premature death of those near the top. Relative poverty, as well as absolute poverty, leads to worse health and increased risks of premature death.

The most detrimental health effects are felt at the bottom, among people who live in poverty and in poverty areas. However, the Work Group decided that prevention efforts should be focused toward low socio-economic status (SES), a broader concern. Those with low SES are not necessarily living in poverty -- they may not qualify for federal programs that have specific definitions of poverty. The effects of low SES are widespread and profound.

Poor social and economic circumstances affect health throughout life.



Contribution to overall disease burden in SF

Downstream (Health Consequences)

What can be done?

Web resources

MEDLINE strategies

Updated May 9, 2003• Please send feedback to Brian Katcher

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