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Social Determinants of Health
Where we live, learn, work and play can have a greater impact on how long and how well we live than medical care. Our zip code affects our health more than our genetic code. These are some of the messages that help illustrate the growing understanding that the health of individuals and populations is influenced by a complex set of inter-related social and economic determinants including:  income/wealth, education, employment status, housing, food security, early childhood experiences, environment (both built and natural), and discrimination based on race/ethnicity or other personal characteristics.

Selected National and International Links
on Health Equity and the Social Determinants of Health

The following links are just a sampling of the numerous resources available online regarding health equity and the social determinants of health nationally and globally:

Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?
A seven-part documentary series by California Newsreel exploring racial and socioeconomic inequalities in health. Additional resources and links available HERE.

The Equality Trust
Great inequality is the scourge of modern societies. Evidence is provided on each of eleven different health and social problems: physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, trust and community life, violence, teenage births, and child well-being. For all eleven of these health and social problems, outcomes are very substantially worse in more unequal societies.

National Association of County & City Health Officials - NACCHO
Health equity and social justice page.

WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health - Final Report

Interview with Sir Michael Marmott, Chair of WHO Commitee on the Social Determinants of Health
Video [streaming wmv, 00:06:22]

"Promoting Health Equity: A Resource to Help Communities Address Social Determinants of Health"
Workbook from CDC (PDF format)

Selected New Mexico Documents
on Health Equity and the Social Determinants of Health

The following brief collection of documents includes studies of New Mexico and Bernalillo County that focus on health equities, health disparities, and the social determinants of health, often using comprehensive sets of indicators, small area analysis and geographic information systems methodologies.

ABC HEAT - Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Health Equity Assessment Tool

March 2010 - presentation by Tom Scharmen and George Schroeder of the Bernalillo County Place Matters Team.  ABC HEAT is a collaborative health equity initiative with the goal of providing communities and decision-makers with evidence to build health into public and private policies and practices.

Social Determinants of Health: An Improved Understanding of Health in New Mexico

A primer on the basics of the social determinants of health, with examples from New Mexico. Written by the NM Social Determinants of Health Working Group in 2005, and published with support from the New Mexico Public Health Association and the Department of Health.

Albuquerque and Bernalillo County Zip Code Maps: Health And Social Indicators

A collection of 35 maps (with corresponding data tables) covering key indicators for New Mexico's largest city and most populous county. Published by the NMDOH in conjunction with the University of New Mexico's Institute for Public Health in 2005.

New Mexico Income Poverty Tool

A database in spreadsheet format (MSExcel) containing data on income and Medicaid enrollment, children in poverty, income quintiles and income disparity for all NM zip codes. Based on 1998 tax return data, this tool was assembled by K O'Donnell and T Scharmen in 2001 as part of a project of the NM Social Determinants of Health Working Group. Includes a data dictionary and a 'read me' worksheet.

Income Quintiles and Simple Disparity

A MS Powerpoint file with an illustrated explanation of how income quintiles and simple disparity measures are calculated in the NM Income Poverty Tool.

Health Status Disparities in New Mexico

Published by the NM Department of Health in 2003, this 62-page book examines gender and racial/ethnic disparities in NM morbidity, mortality and risk factors.

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Report Card

Published by the NM Department of Health in 2006, this 12-page monograph examines racial and ethnic disparities in NM health care, preventable and infectious diseases, injury, and selected risk factors.

Keeping Track of the Health of the State: Social Index -- A Proposal

This is a MS Powerpoint presentation by M Landen, C Halasan, and T Scharmen from the 2004 NMPHA annual conference, designed to promote work on a comprehensive index of health and social factors. It provides a brief explanation of the concept and history of the health equity index, discusses basic methodology, and actually constructs a 'mini' social index of health for Bernalillo County.

Hospitalization and Mortality in Albuquerque Zip Codes

A report prepared in 2004 for the NM Secretaries of Health and Environment examining geographic disparities for selected causes of death and hospitalization. The information in this report has been widely used by local community groups to address the need for health status information in planning, zoning and permitting processes.

UNMCare Coverage by Bernalillo County Census Tracts

This study reports on the analysis of four years of inpatient and outpatient data from the University of New Mexico Hospital 'UNMCare' project, which provides free healthcare coverage for low-income adults in Bernalillo County. The analysis uses census and political boundaries to focus on ethnic, economic and geographic inequities in both enrollment and access to services.

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