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      Immigration as a Social Determinant of Health

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          Abstract

          Although immigration and immigrant populations have become increasingly important foci in public health research and practice, a social determinants of health approach has seldom been applied in this area. Global patterns of morbidity and mortality follow inequities rooted in societal, political, and economic conditions produced and reproduced by social structures, policies, and institutions. The lack of dialogue between these two profoundly related phenomena-social determinants of health and immigration-has resulted in missed opportunities for public health research, practice, and policy work. In this article, we discuss primary frameworks used in recent public health literature on the health of immigrant populations, note gaps in this literature, and argue for a broader examination of immigration as both socially determined and a social determinant of health. We discuss priorities for future research and policy to understand more fully and respond appropriately to the health of the populations affected by this global phenomenon.

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          Most cited references97

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          The social determinants of health: coming of age.

          In the United States, awareness is increasing that medical care alone cannot adequately improve health overall or reduce health disparities without also addressing where and how people live. A critical mass of relevant knowledge has accumulated, documenting associations, exploring pathways and biological mechanisms, and providing a previously unavailable scientific foundation for appreciating the role of social factors in health. We review current knowledge about health effects of social (including economic) factors, knowledge gaps, and research priorities, focusing on upstream social determinants-including economic resources, education, and racial discrimination-that fundamentally shape the downstream determinants, such as behaviors, targeted by most interventions. Research priorities include measuring social factors better, monitoring social factors and health relative to policies, examining health effects of social factors across lifetimes and generations, incrementally elucidating pathways through knowledge linkage, testing multidimensional interventions, and addressing political will as a key barrier to translating knowledge into action.
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            Theories for social epidemiology in the 21st century: an ecosocial perspective.

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              Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Health The Added Effects of Racism and Discrimination

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Public Health
                Annu. Rev. Public Health
                Annual Reviews
                0163-7525
                1545-2093
                March 18 2015
                March 18 2015
                : 36
                : 1
                : 375-392
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33620; email:
                [2 ]School of Public Health and
                [3 ]Graduate Program in Medical Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720; email: ,
                [4 ]Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90024; email:
                [5 ]Global Health Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, California 94105; email:
                [6 ]Department of Anthropology and Cesar Chavez Institute, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California 94132; email:
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032013-182419
                25494053
                3098ce5d-1e08-4b0a-a216-351698ef08a1
                © 2015
                History

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