Impact on Mortality

December 30, 2019

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Anchor lead: Social determinants of health are impacting overall lifespan, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Life expectancy continues to drop for Americans, a very large study finds. Redonda Miller, president of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, examines the data.

Miller: It showed that we’re seeing an increased risk of death in adults aged 29 to 59, often from overdose, and gun violence and that’s such a large problem now that it’s impacting overall mortality. It is a wake up call for us.  :16

Miller says the big factors fall under what are known collectively as social determinants of health.

Miller: When you look at the social determinants we often think about jobs, we think about housing, we think about food access, and we’re continuing that work with great enthusiasm. I think another place we can turn to now is thinking about these other social determinants.  :15

Miller acknowledges that these are very complex issues that will require a multipronged, cooperative approach to solve, while also affirming that there are many choices that lie within an individual’s power to overcome, so all hands are needed. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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