Research Summary: Social Determinants of Health

Key points

  • Social determinants of health are the non-medical factors that influence health outcomes.
  • This pages provides an overview of CDC research on social determinants of health.
  • This searchable list of peer-reviewed articles is categorized according to the Healthy People 2030 framework.
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What CDC is doing

CDC conducts and publishes research on the social determinants of health (SDOH). This page offers a searchable list of recent peer-reviewed articles written by CDC researchers on various SDOH topics. These are organized according to the Healthy People 2030 place-based framework:

  • Economic stability explores the link between people's financial resources (like income, cost of living, and socioeconomic status) and their health. Key issues include poverty, employment, food security, and housing stability.
  • Education examines the relationship between education and health and well-being. Important areas include graduation rates, higher education, educational attainment, language and literacy, and early childhood education and development.
  • Social and community context focuses on how the characteristics of environments where people live, learn, work, and play affect their health and well-being. It covers topics like community cohesion, civic participation, discrimination, racism, xenophobia, cultural norms, interpersonal violence, workplace conditions, and incarceration. Another contextual factor is immigration status, especially for people who migrated from less-developed countries.
  • Health and healthcare looks at how people's access to and understanding of health services impact their health. Issues include healthcare access, health insurance coverage, English language proficiency, health literacy, and the health implications for people who migrate to or within the United States, even temporarily.
  • Neighborhood and built environment explores the relationship between where people live (like housing, neighborhoods, and overall environment) and their health and well-being. Topics include housing quality, access to transportation, availability of healthy foods, water and air quality, and community violence and crime.
  • General SDOH topics and methods cover broader SDOH or SDOH-related topics that don't fit neatly under the Healthy People 2030 SDOH domains. It encompasses methodologies, strategies, measurements, and policies related to SDOH.

Explore the research

To reach the database, please click on this link. Filter articles by the categories outlined above and use the search box to further sort articles by keyword or author name.

For more information about article selection, visit Frequently Asked Questions.

If you know about CDC-published research that was not included here and meets the inclusion criteria, please contact us at