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Social Determinants of Health$
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Michael Marmot and Richard Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198565895

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198565895.001.0001

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Social organization, stress, and health

Social organization, stress, and health

(p.6) Chapter 2 Social organization, stress, and health
Social Determinants of Health

Michael Marmot

Richard G. Wilkinson

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes up the issue of biological plausibility. It addresses two issues: First, is it plausible that the organization of work, degree of social isolation, and sense of control over life could affect the likelihood of developing and dying from chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease? The various biological pathways that can plausibly change the risk of developing major disease are discussed. The second issue is more complicated — do any of the plausible biological pathways actually operate; that is, not could they cause disease, but do they? The evidence on this is incomplete and is an important topic for current and future research, but it is sufficiently suggestive to point to hypotheses for testing.

Keywords:   biological plausibility, biological pathways, psychosocial factors, stress, social isolation

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