The Determinants of health are factors which influence health status and determine health differentials or health inequalities. They are many and varied and include, for example, natural, biological factors (e.g. age, gender and ethnicity); behaviour and lifestyles (e.g. smoking, alcohol consumption, diet and physical exercise), physical and social environment (e.g. housing quality, the workplace and the wider urban and rural environment), and access to health care (Lalonde, 1974; Labonté 1993). All of these are closely interlinked and differentials in their distribution lead to health inequalities.
Source: HIA Glossary of terms, WHO
See also: Social determinants of health« Back to Glossary Index