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Articles on Social determinants of health

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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.
A mother and son watch as firefighters battle wildfires in Shoresh, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, on Aug. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Rapidly increasing climate change poses a rising threat to mental health, says IPCC

For the first time, an IPCC climate report has assessed evidence that weather and climate extremes are already affecting mental health — and are likely to worsen.
One child in three is physically or sexually abused or witnesses violence between adults in their home. Other adversities including emotional neglect, living in an unsafe neighbourhood or experiencing prejudice and bullying are even more common. (iStock)

Childhood adversity is a ‘cause of causes’ of adult illnesses and mental health problems

One in three children experiences abuse or neglect. These adverse events increase lifelong risks for chronic diseases and mental health issues, creating a public health hazard hiding in plain sight.
Keagan Henman/Unsplash

Early intervention for psychosis might cost more initially but delivers a greater return on investment

Early intervention programs for young people with psychosis might cost more initially, and require more intensive support for longer periods, but they’re worth the investment.
Vulnerability to suicide may build up throughout the course of life, and may start with events occurring in the perinatal period and infancy. (Shutterstock)

Understanding the early-life origins of suicide: Vulnerability may begin even before birth

Early life influences have been linked to higher risk of suicide later in life. Reducing those risks, and boosting resilience in children exposed to them, may help reduce suicide rates.
Alzheimer’s, like many diseases, has a genetic component. Tek Images/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Mixed-ancestry genetic research shows a bit of Native American DNA could reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Using a technique called admixture mapping, researchers can leverage the diversity of people with mixed ancestry to look for hard-to-find genetic risk factors for diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Environmentally dangerous dumps, landfills and pulp and paper mills are more likely to be sited in African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaw communities. These communities suffer from high rates of cancer and respiratory illness. (Shutterstock)

Environmental racism: New study investigates whether Nova Scotia dump boosted cancer rates in nearby Black community

Black residents of Shelburne, N.S., spent decades living near a dump, worrying about its possible connection to elevated cancer rates. A new study will investigate the dump’s long-term consequences.
Would anyone want to spend more screen time talking about pandemics? Yes, learned an anthropologist, biologist and historian who developed a course on the topic. (Shutterstock)

A university course on pandemics: What we learned when 80 experts, 300 alumni and 600 students showed up

The course offers a model for teaching about complex problems, and underlines the critical role of university learning, research and outreach in understanding and addressing them.

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