As the medical industry continues to understand how social determinants of health impact overall wellness, the topics of environment and climate change have come into view.
SDOH specifically refer to the environments in which individuals live, work, and play. Currently, most stakeholders are zooming in on factors like houselessness or food insecurity as leading SDOH impacting health. But a look at natural and built environments—green space, water quality, neighborhood violence—can illuminate patient relationships with other SDOH and provide insights into health outcomes.
Said otherwise, patient wellness depends on more than having a house to live in, food to eat, and transportation to get places. The physical spaces we live in, and the quality of the built and natural elements in those spaces, also play a key role in achieving better health.