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Articles on Social determinants of health

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Women continue to experience disparities in treatment and prevention of heart disease in comparison with other Canadians. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Dying to be seen: Why women’s risk for heart disease and stroke is still higher than men’s in Canada

Women are often under-diagnosed and under-treated for heart disease and may be unaware of their specific risk factors. Clinical and research practices need to reflect the diversity of women in Canada.
When bonds are forged between generations, both the young and the old benefit. Maskot/DigitalVision via Getty Images

This course teaches students how to connect with older adults to forge intergenerational bonds and help alleviate loneliness and isolation

Social isolation and loneliness in aging adults have been linked to numerous physical and mental health ailments. Teaching students how to listen deeply to older people can lessen those effects.
In Canada, just over 10 per cent of households live in housing that is unaffordable, unsuitable or inadequate, and they cannot afford alternative housing in their community. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Canada’s National Housing Strategy: Is it really addressing homelessness and affordability?

Halfway through its 10-year mandate to address issues like affordability and homelessness, the National Housing Strategy is providing little benefit for the vast majority of vulnerable households.
Approximately one-third of 2SLGBTQ+ young people who participated in a nutrition study noted that they did not have any support systems in place to help them with their nutritional needs during the pandemic. (Shutterstock)

Food insecurity during COVID-19: 2SLGBTQ+ people talk about challenges and support

Food insecurity is a social justice issue tied to social determinants of health. Historically marginalized people like 2SLGBTQ+ youth are at risk, and more likely to be food insecure during COVID-19.
In-depth interviews with former youth in care described barriers and challenges to attending post-secondary education once they received a tuition waiver. (Shutterstock)

Health of former youth in care could be bolstered by stronger tuition waiver programs

To understand how tuition waivers and associated supports can help former youth in care complete post-secondary education and positively affect their health, evidence-based practices are needed.
People inquire about receiving a monkeypox vaccine at an outdoor walk-in clinic in Montréal on July 23, 2022. The World Health Organization has declared the virus a global health emergency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Why it’s important to tell people that monkeypox is predominately affecting gay and bisexual men

Engaging in open and honest dialogue with the public to increase understanding of health inequities has never been more important.
Produce vegetables are displayed for sale at a grocery store in Aylmer, Que. in May 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

How the slow-burning housing crisis is driving hunger in Canada

While decent housing and food are fundamental human rights, they are often treated separately, and primarily as commodities. How can we tackle housing and food insecurity together, and better?
Because of stigma and deeply rooted implicit bias, people who suffer chronic and unexplained pains are often characterized as complainers, malingerers and drug-seekers. (Shutterstock)

Why stress-related illness is so hard to diagnose, and how a patient-centred playful approach can help

Psychosocial and economic stressors can affect health, but neither our doctors nor our health-care system have the tools to integrate these factors into diagnoses or care. Play offers an alternative.
Abortion-rights demonstrators hold up letters spelling out ‘My Choice,’ Saturday, May 14, 2022, outside the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Denying abortion access has a negative impact on children and families

Restricting abortion access has negative effects on parents, as well as children and families, including increased poverty, unemployment, pregnancy-related deaths and higher health risks in children.
Food prescriptions provide patients with vouchers that can be spent on fruits and vegetables. (Jonathon Barraball)

Social prescriptions: Why some health-care practitioners are prescribing food to their patients

Food security is crucial to disease prevention and management, so prescribing healthy foods and reducing barriers to better diets makes sense. But food prescriptions should not be immune to scrutiny.
Who gets to flourish and who doesn’t? Tony Anderson/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Psychological tips aren’t enough – policies need to address structural inequities so everyone can flourish

For people who struggle to meet their basic needs, it will take a lot more than simple psychological exercises to flourish. It will take systemic change.
Not engaging Black communities meaningfully in health and other policy-making processes has been a critical failure, reflecting a history of systemic racism, marginalization and political indifference. (Nappy.co)

Failure to include Black communities in health policy public engagement perpetuates health disparities

While policy organizations publicly claim that they want input from racialized and other marginalized communities, many fail to listen to, accept or integrate what those communities have to say.
Exposure to adverse childhood experiences, as well as disparities in social determinants of health, can significantly affect development and health in children. (Shutterstock)

How health care can respond to the lifelong impact of adverse childhood experiences

Adverse childhood experiences like abuse, neglect and dysfunction at home may not seem like primarily medical problems, but they have significant and enduring impact on physical and mental health.

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