Assessing the social and physical determinants of circumpolar population health. Academic Article Review uri icon

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  • Systematic reviews of the social and physical determinants of health provide metrics for evaluation of programs to mitigate health disparities. Previous meta-analyses of the population health literature have identified several proximate social and physical determinants of population health in the circumpolar north including addiction, environmental exposures, diet/nutrition and global climate change. Proximate health determinants are most amenable to early detection and modification or mitigation through disease prevention or health promotion interventions.There is a need for research to replicate these findings based on the latest science. This presentation describes a study applying Dahlgren and Whitehead's (1991) socio-ecological model of health determinants to identify the proximate social and physical determinants of health in the circumpolar north.The study consisted of a systematic review of recent studies that link determinants of health with the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in Alaska. Our search strategy employed a keyword search using the Circumpolar Health Bibliographic Database (CHBD) and 4 databases within the Web of Knowledge (WoK) data gateway. Keywords included various terms for the arctic, all relevant nations and territories within the region, as well as leading health outcomes.Studies meeting the following inclusion criteria were reviewed: original research within a circumpolar population, published in English during 2011, and involving a rigorous demonstration of a link between a social determinant and selected health outcomes.Study conclusions includes a list of determinants identified, their associated outcomes and the study designs implemented to assess that association.

date/time value

  • 2013

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3402/ijch.v72i0.21400

PubMed Identifier

  • 23986893


  • 72



  • Alaska
  • Arctic Regions
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Social Determinants of Health