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Op-Ed | To Improve Health, We Must Focus on Social Determinants

By Sahar Arshad, COO of CloudMedx

As moms, we’re often told how important it is to take good care of ourselves through eating, exercising, and getting enough sleep. But some of the biggest forces that determine our health are out of our control.

They’re called “social determinants of health.” They include things like having a stable source of income, access to doctors and pharmacies, clean air and water, and other aspects of the neighborhoods and environments we live in. According to the World Health Organization, these determinants, known by the acronym SDOH, account for between 30 and 55% of “health outcomes”—in other words, the changes to our health.

A 2022 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that when it comes to these determinants, parents have it especially hard. “Across most measures, adults with children in their household fared worse compared to overall adults,” the report says.

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