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What Do We Know about Social Determinants of Health in the U.S. and Comparable Countries?

Social determinants, such as individual and community behaviors, economic circumstances, and environmental factors, can influence health costs and outcomes, despite being outside the control of the health system in some respects. This slideshow explores social determinants and health outcomes in the United States and similar countries. The collection looks at income inequality, obesity, and rates of insurance, as well as behaviors such as cigarette and alcohol consumption. Health outcomes, such as disease burden from drug abuse disorders and motor vehicle road injuries, also are examined, along with measures such as years of life lost due to firearms assaults and death rates from accidental poisonings.

The slideshow is part of the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system. More information about the analysis related to the slideshow is available through the tracker.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.