Socio-economic determinants of health

Tyumen State University Herald. Social, Economic, and Law Research


2019, Vol. 5. №3(19)

Socio-economic determinants of health

For citation: Moiseeva D. Yu., Troitskaya I. A. 2019. “Socio-economic determinants of health”. Tyumen State University Herald. Social, Economic, and Law Research, vol. 5, no 3 (19), pp. 42-59. DOI: 10.21684/2411-7897-2019-5-3-42-59

About the authors:

Moiseeva Daria Yu., Postgraduate Student, Department of Population, Faculty of Economics, Lomonosov Moscow State University; Postgraduate Student, Institute of Demography (IDUP), University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Troitskaya Irina A., Cand. Sci. (Econ.), Leading Researcher, Laboratory of Population Economics and Demography, Faculty of Economics, Lomonosov Moscow State University; ORCID: 0000-0002-3768-7155


The high level of economic and demographic development of a country does not guarantee health equality to its citizens. Health differentiation is associated not only with genetic, behavioral, or infrastructural factors, despite their significance; it reflects also the socio-economic differentiation of society. Thus, the concept of social determinants of health arises — the of people from their birth to the old age.
The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, but not only as the absence of disease and physical defects. This definition, however, does not allow emphasizing that set of objective indicators through which one can monitor and measure health. At present, there is no unique comparable scale for determining the level of health; its development requires a complex interdisciplinary study.
This article studies the concept and defines the classification of socio-economic determinants of the population’s health. Using a variety of contemporary foreign studies linking specific indicators of health or life expectancy with a number of social determinants, the current paper reveals the nature of the socio-economic factors influence on the health of the population. Due to the lack of Russian research on the topic, this article is of interest to the Russian audience with a broad overview of theoretical and empirical works.


  1. World Health Organization. 2018. “Social Determinants of Health”. Accessed 20 November 2018. [In Russian]

  2. World Health Organization. 2014. “Constitution of the World Health Organization”. [In Russian]

  3. Valentey D. I. (ed.). 1985. Demographics Encyclopedic Dictionary. Moscow: Sovetskaya entsiklopediya. [In Russian]

  4. UK Department for Transport. 2009. A Safer Way — Making Britain’s Roads the Safest in the World.

  5. Belkic K. L., Landsbergis P. A., Schnall P. L., Baker D. 2004. “Is job strain a major source of cardiovascular disease risk?”. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, vol. 30, no 2, pp. 85-128.

  6. Commission on Social Determinants of Health. 2008. CSDH Final Report: Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Geneva: World Health Organization.

  7. Dahlgren G., Whitehead M. 1991. Policies and Strategies to Promote Social Equity in Health. Stockholm: Institute for Futures Studies.

  8. Dominguez T. P., Denkel-Schetter C., Glynn L. M., Hobel C., Sandman C. A. 2008. “Racial differences in birth outcomes: The role of general, pregnancy, and racism stress”. Health Psychology, vol. 27, no 2, pp. 194-203.

  9. Egerter S., Braveman P., Sadegh-Nobari T., Grossman-Kahn R., Dekker M. 2011. “Education and health”. Exploring the Social Determinants of Health, issue brief no 5. Princeton (NJ): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

  10. Feinstein L. 1999. Preschool educational inequality? British children in the 1970 cohort. London: Centre for Economic Performance and University College.

  11. Feinstein L., Duckworth K. 2006. Development in the Early Years, Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning, Research Report 20.

  12. Fitch C., Hamilton S., Basset P., Davey R. 2009. Debt and Mental Health. London: Royal College Psychiatrists.

  13. Huijts T., Eikemo T. A., Skalicka V. 2010. “Income-related health inequalities in the nordic countries: examining the role of education, occupational class, and age”. Social Science & Medicine, vol. 71, pp. 1964-1972.

  14. Lahelma E., Martikainen P., Laaksonen M., Aittomäki A. 2004. “Pathways between socioeconomic determinants of health”. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vol. 58, pp. 327-332.

  15. Larson K., Russ S. A., Crall J. J., Halfon N. 2008. “Influence of multiple social risks on children’s health”. Pediatrics, vol. 121, no 2, pp. 337-344.

  16. Lehman B. J., Taylor S. E., Kiefe C. I., Seeman T. E. 2009. “Relationship of early life stress and psychological functioning to blood pressure in the CARDIA study”. Health Psychology, vol. 28, no 3, pp. 338-346.

  17. Lexmond J., Reeves R. 2009. Building Character. London: Demos.

  18. Low M. D., Low B. J., Baumler E. R., Huynh P. T. 2005. “Can education policy be health policy? Implications of research on the social determinants of health”. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, vol. 30, no 6, pp. 1131-1162.

  19. Mackenbach J. P. 1992. “Socio-economic health differences in the Netherlands: a review of recent empirical findings”. Social Science & Medicine, vol. 34, pp.213-226.

  20. Maier R., Egger A., Barth A., Winker R., Osterode W., Kundi M., Wolf C., Ruediger H. 2006 “Effects of short- and long-term unemployment on physical work capacity and on serum cortisol”. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, vol. 79, no 3, pp. 193-198.

  21. Marmot M. 2004. The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity. New York: Owl Books. 336 p.

  22. Marmot M., Bell R. 2012. Fair Society, Healthy Lives. Public Health. No 126. Pp. 4-10.

  23. Miller G. E., Pylypchuk I. 2014. “Marital status, spousal characteristics, and the use of preventive care”. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, vol. 35, pp. 323-338.

  24. Mirowsky J., Ross C. E. 2003. Education, Social Status, and Health. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter. 252 p.

  25. Piha K., Laaksonen M., Martikainen P., Rahkonen O., Lahelma E. 2010. “Interrelationships between education, occupational class, income and sickness absence”. European Journal of Public Health, vol. 20, pp. 276-280.

  26. Friends of the Earth. 2001. “Pollution and poverty — breaking the link”.

  27. Porritt J., Colin-Thomé D., Coote A., Friel S., Kjellstrom T., Wilkinson P. 2009. “Sustainable development task group report: health impacts of climate change”. Marmot Review.

  28. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health. 2010. “Reaching for a healthier life: Facts on socioeconomic status and health in the U.S.”.

  29. Ross C. E., Mirowsky J. 1999. “Refining the association between education and health: the effects of quantity, credential, and selectivity”. Demography, vol. 36, no 4, pp. 445-60.

  30. Shaw M. 2004. “Housing and public health”. Annual Review of Public Health, vol. 25, pp. 397-418.

  31. Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. 2000. “Social exclusion and the provision of public transport”.

  32. Stuckler D., Basu S., Suhrcke M., Coutts A., McKee M. 2009. “The public health effect of economic crisis and alternative policy responses in Europe: an empirical analysis”. The Lancet, vol. 374, no 9686, pp. 315-323.

  33. Taylor M., Sacker A., Jenkins S. 2009. “Financial capability and wellbeing: evidence from the BHPS”. Financial Services Authority.

  34. Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health. “Why population aging matters: a global perspective”.

  35. Wilkinson R., Pickett K. 2009. The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better. London: Allen Lane. 352 p.

  36. Wilkinson R., Marmot M. (eds.). 2003. Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts. 2nd edition. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe.