Introduction

Welcome to the Wider Determinants of Health tool. The tool is an ongoing project and will continue to be developed over time. If you have any feedback you can email us at ProfileFeedback@phe.gov.uk. For more information about the wider determinants of health see the 'About' section below or the video to the right.

Further resources

As an addition to the data, the further resources pages provide resources to help you go beyond highlighting variation in the wider determinants and take further action. They contain links to more data, information and ideas that can help you to explore the issues raised in this profile in more detail and inform actions to improve health outcomes.

Click on an image below to access further resources for a specific domain. For resources which are not domain specific, see general resources.

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This site contains external links. Public Health England is not responsible for the contents or reliability of the linked websites and does not necessarily endorse the content expressed within them.

About

Wider determinants, also known as social determinants, are a diverse range of social, economic and environmental factors which impact on people’s health. Such factors are influenced by the local, national and international distribution of power and resources which shape the conditions of daily life. They determine the extent to which different individuals have the physical, social and personal resources to identify and achieve goals, meet their needs and deal with changes to their circumstances. The Marmot review, published in 2010, raised the profile of wider determinants of health by emphasising the strong and persistent link between social inequalities and disparities in health outcomes. Variation in the experience of wider determinants (i.e. social inequalities) is considered the fundamental cause (the ‘causes of the causes’) of health outcomes, and as such health inequalities are likely to persist through changes in disease patterns and behavioural risks so long as social inequalities persist. Addressing the wider determinants of health has a key role to play in reducing health inequalities, one of PHE’s core functions.

Several studies have attempted to estimate the contribution of the wider determinants to population health, finding that wider determinants have a greater influence on health than health care, behaviours or genetics. It is therefore an important aspect of public health in terms of informing preventative action and reducing inequality. In addition, both the Marmot review and the Dame Carol Black review highlighted the huge economic costs of failing to act on the wider determinants of health.

This tool arose from the need for a resource to support work to reduce the impact of the wider determinants, broadening the existing range of tools which focus on behavioural risk factors and direct measures of health.

A list of indicators updated and accompanying statistical commentaries for the most recent and previous profile updates can be found in the Wider Determinants of Health collection.

Aims

The aim of the profile is to provide the public health system with intelligence regarding the wider determinants of health to help improve population health and reduce health inequalities. This Fingertips profile aims to:

  • provide a set of indicators which describe a range of wider determinants of health and enable a comparison of these factors between areas
  • highlight relationships between wider determinants and other risk factors and health outcomes
  • provide, where possible, links to further resources for tackling wider determinants. This may take the form of best practice, case studies, interventions, guidance, or links to other data tools or analyses.

More information about the profile can be found on the further information page.