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The Social Determinants of Health Inequalities

Michael Marmot, November 16, 1999

The presenter, Michael Marmot, is Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College, London. His presentation dealt primarily with work that he and his colleagues had undertaken in developed countries, particularly the United Kingdom and Eastern Europe. The subsequent discussion provided an opportunity to assess the relevance of findings from these settings for the developing societies in which the World Bank is active.

Professor Marmot began by describing the social gradient of health status – that is, the progressively worse levels of health status encountered as one moves from higher toward lower social class – that he and his colleagues had found. He then went on to discuss four sets of alternative explanations for the gradient: inequality or deprivation, psychosocial or material considerations, inequality/deprivation at an early age or at present; and personality or environment.

Download the complete seminar report (13kb PDF file).

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