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Minnesotans Underestimate the Powerful Health Influence of Social Determinants--and Often Don't Acknowledge the Documented Impacts of Discrimination and Inequity


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(OPEN):
MANY RESPONDENTS IN A NEWLY RELEASED POLL FAILED TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE EVERYDAY BARRIERS THAT NEGATIVELY AFFECT SOME MINNESOTANS' WELL-BEING.  SPECIFICALLY, ALMOST HALF DIDN'T IDENTIFY "SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS", "A LIVING WAGE", OR "SAFE, AFFORDABLE HOUSING" AS POSITIVE INFLUENCES OVER HEALTH.  DOCTOR DAN TRAJANO ["TRAH-HAH-NO"] IS WITH THE "CENTER FOR PREVENTION", AT "BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF MINNESOTA"--WHICH COMMISSIONED THE POLL...

(TRAJANO):
"
THESE ITEMS--ALONG WITH SEVERAL OTHERS--ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS 'SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH': EVERYDAY FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE OUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING, AND THAT ARE PRIMARILY OUT OF OUR CONTROL.  ADDRESSING THE SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH IS IMPORTANT--BECAUSE, AT 'BLUE CROSS', WE REALIZE THAT THE MAJORITY OF HEALTH HAPPENS OUTSIDE THE DOCTOR'S-OFFICE:  10-PERCENT OF HEALTH IS INFLUENCED BY CLINICAL CARE, AND ANOTHER 10-PERCENT BY GENETICS; THE REMAINING 80-PERCENT IS A RESULT OF PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENTS, HEALTH-BEHAVIORS, AND SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC FACTORS, LIKE INCOME, COMMUNITY-CONNECTIONS, HOUSING, QUALITY EDUCATION, AND FOOD-SECURITY.  THESE FACTORS DETERMINE THE HEALTH OF A COMMUNITY--ALONG WITH THE HEALTH-INEQUITIES [THAT] IT FACES.  ADDRESSING SOCIAL DETERMINANTS, AND REDUCING HEALTH-INEQUITIES, CREATE A STRONGER STATE, FOR ALL MINNESOTANS: LOWERING HEALTHCARE-COSTS, INCREASING COMMUNITY-VITALITY, AND MAKING US ALL HEALTHIER."

(CLOSE):
THE POLL CONSISTED OF 500 MINNESOTANS, AGES 18 AND OVER--AND WAS CONDUCTED IN EARLY MARCH.  TO LEARN MORE, VISIT "CENTER-FOR-PREVENTION-M-N"-DOT-COM.



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