Social Determinants of Health & Populations at Risk

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Social Determinants of Health and Populations at Risk Highlights Document
Social Determinants of Health and Populations at Risk, Chapter 12


Arlene S. Bierman
Ashley Johns
Brian Hyndman
Christiane Mitchell
Naushaba Degani
Avram R. Shack
Marisa Isabella Creatore
Aisha K. Lofters
Marcelo L. Urquia
Farah Ahmad
Nazilla Khanlou
Vanessa Parlette


It is well-known that social factors—rather than medical care or health behaviours—are the primary drivers of health and health inequities. The social determinants of health influence both physical and mental health. Furthermore, the social determinants of health, which work through many complex and intertwining pathways, are not evenly distributed across the population.

In this chapter, we synthesize prior POWER analyses that examined the health of low-income, minority, and immigrant populations, and enrich this data by reporting additional indicators of the social determinants of health and immigrant women’s health. In doing so, we paint a powerful picture of the health needs of populations at risk, how these differ among women and men in different groups, and highlight the role of the social determinants of health in the Ontario population.

This chapter includes sections on
  • Social determinants of health
  • Low-income populations
  • Immigrant and minority populations