Determinants of health are factors that influence health status and determine health differentials or health inequalities.
They are many and varied, including:
- natural, biological factors, such as age, gender, and ethnicity;
- behavior and lifestyles, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, and physical exercise;
- the physical and social environment, including housing quality, the workplace, and the wider urban and rural environment; and
- access to health care.
All of these are closely interlinked and differentials in their distribution lead to health inequalities.
WHO, Programmes and projects, Health Impact Assessment, Glossary of terms. Internet. Accessed April 29, 2010.