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Identify a Population of Interest

Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) consider social, political, and economic factors that contribute to health disparities in patients and populations. The most common health-related SDOH exposures are food and housing insecurity, financial instability, transportation needs, low levels of education, and psychosocial stress.

The Future of the Public’s Health in the 21st Century.

The health of populations depends on many different factors. Epidemiology is a discipline that has a crucial role in describing health status, identifying risk factors, and analyzing relationships between health and different hazardous agents. The classical epidemiological triangle of host-agent-environment describes how individuals become ill.

Epidemiology, Population Health, and Health Impact Assessment

Based on our readings this week answer the following questions:

  1. Identify a population of interest. What determinants of health are associated with this population? Consider the impact of associated risk factors and the determinants of health as related to this population and the health condition(s).
  2. Determine strategies required to address health inequities focusing on determinants of health for population health improvement among disparate populations.
  3. Explain the following statement:
  1. Utilizing an epidemiologic approach to disease occurrence targeting risk factors and addressing determinants of health can improve population health.

Identify a population of interest

  1. Population of Interest: Let’s consider low-income urban communities as our population of interest. This population often faces numerous determinants of health that contribute to health disparities. Some of the key determinants associated with this population include:
    • Food and housing insecurity: Many individuals in low-income urban communities struggle to afford nutritious food and stable housing, leading to higher rates of malnutrition, chronic diseases, and exposure to environmental hazards.
    • Financial instability: Limited financial resources make it difficult for individuals to access healthcare services, afford medications, or maintain healthy lifestyles.
    • Transportation needs: Lack of reliable transportation can hinder access to healthcare facilities, employment opportunities, and essential services.
    • Low levels of education: Limited education can lead to poor health literacy, reduced access to job opportunities with health benefits, and higher rates of risky health behaviors.
    • Psychosocial stress: Living in poverty-stricken neighborhoods often exposes individuals to chronic stressors such as violence, crime, and social isolation, which can negatively impact physical and mental health.

    Health conditions commonly associated with these determinants include obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory illnesses, mental health disorders, and substance abuse.

  2. Strategies to Address Health Inequities:
    • Community-Based Interventions: Implementing community-based programs focused on improving access to healthy food, affordable housing, and transportation services can address food and housing insecurity and transportation needs.
    • Education and Skill-building Programs: Investing in education and skill-building programs can empower individuals to secure better employment opportunities, leading to improved financial stability and health outcomes.
    • Social Support Systems: Establishing social support networks and mental health services can help mitigate psychosocial stressors and improve overall well-being.
    • Policy Changes: Advocating for policies that address systemic issues contributing to health inequities, such as increasing the minimum wage, expanding healthcare coverage, and investing in urban redevelopment projects, can create lasting improvements in population health.
  3. Explanation of the Statement: Utilizing an epidemiologic approach to disease occurrence targeting risk factors and addressing determinants of health can improve population health by:
    • Identifying and Prioritizing Interventions: Epidemiological data help identify high-risk populations and determine the most effective interventions to address their specific health needs.
    • Preventing Disease Onset: By targeting modifiable risk factors and addressing social determinants of health, epidemiological approaches can prevent the onset of diseases and reduce the burden of illness within populations.
    • Promoting Health Equity: Epidemiologic approaches emphasize understanding the root causes of health disparities and implementing interventions that promote equity by addressing underlying social, economic, and environmental factors.
    • Informing Policy and Resource Allocation: Epidemiological evidence informs policymakers and healthcare providers about the allocation of resources and the development of policies aimed at improving population health and reducing health inequities.

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Identify a Population of Interest
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