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Determinants of health and disease 

Determinants of health and disease
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date: 18 October 2019

The determinants of health are complex and multifactorial, challenging traditional frameworks and requiring new approaches to understand, characterize, and protect the health of individuals and populations. This chapter describes how the complex temporal characteristics of health determinants lead to challenges in characterizing and quantifying their impact on health. The multiple scales at which health determinants act-from molecular to global-are discussed, as are the new technologies, cross-disciplinary science, and cross-sector policymaking needed to study, interpret, and act on them. The health determinants associated with the movement of people, policies, capital, and pollutants across regional and national borders are examined, as well as the determinants brought about by abrupt changes, such as conflict or disasters. This chapter discusses examples where complicating features of the determinants of health are raising challenges for public health institutions, professionals, and the policies and interventions they develop and deploy, and explores approaches to addressing these challenges.

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