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Determinants of health

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Direct causes and risk factors which, based on scientific evidence or theory, are thought to influence directly the level of a specific health problem. These may be defined as the “upstream” factors that affect the health status of populations and individuals. Roughly divided into the social environment (cultural, political, policy, economic systems, social capital, etc.), the physical environment (natural and built), and genetic endowment. The determi- nants of health affect both individual response (behavior and biology) and the prevalence of illness and disease.


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