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Why Are Some People Healthy and Others Not?: The Determinants of Health Populations (Social Institutions and Social Change) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0202304908 ISBN-10: 0202304906 Edition: 1st

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Why Are Some People Healthy and Others Not?: The Determinants of Health Populations (Social Institutions and Social Change) + Understanding Health Policy, Sixth Edition + The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
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Product Details

  • Series: Social Institutions and Social Change
  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Aldine Transaction; 1 edition (December 31, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0202304906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0202304908
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #790,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“The book is collectively written by several members of the Population Health Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. After many years of interaction, these authors, representing various disciplines (e.g., biological, cultural, social, economic), formulated ideas about both the determinants and measurement of health and the proper role of the health care delivery system… [T]he book focuses on strategies for improving human health both through the development of better evaluation and data systems, and by formulating better health policies while promoting efficient and effective management of the health care delivery system. General; undergraduate through professional.”

—H. S. Pitkow, Choice

“This volume is as much a challenge for political theorists as it is a collection for policy analysts; and it would be a shame if it were only to circulate within the realm of public policy.”

—Katherine Fierlbeck, Canadian Journal of Political Science

“[T]he book synthesizes the literature from many disciplines but presents a paradigm of health that is almost universally accepted in both academic and health policy circles: namely, that health is determined through the interplay of a host of varied factors, with medicine merely one of many potentially useful ones… [T]he book successfully emphasizes the possible contributions to the health of populations of resource reallocations from medical to non-medical activities… [T]he book effectively highlights the trade-offs between medical expenditures and other activities that may enhance health.”

—Peter C. Coyte, The Canadian Journal of Economics

“At the heart of this book lies a fundamental critique of two cornerstones of contemporary health policy: the role of modern medical care in the production of health, and the role of individual “life style choices” in the production of disease… Overall this book is both an invaluable resource for recent developed-country social epidemiology and a stimulating critique of received theories and observations in the social science of health and illness.”

—Constance A. Nathanson, Contemporary Sociology

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By hodgins@intrahus.med.unc.edu on May 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
In the tradition of Dubos, McKeown, and Geoffrey Rose - but goes further and draws on recent data. By multiple authors. The early chapters make for exhilarating reading. "Producing Health, Consuming Health Care" by Evans and Stoddard in particular will be heavily cited for years to come. Later chapters, on implications for policy, come as a bit of a let down. Ultimately, the book is at its strongest in its account of what produces health but isn't as satisfying in its discussions of repercussions for practice.
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I suspect that more people are familiar with Richard Wilkerson's "Spirit Level". That is less work to grasp, but this is a well-written and longer and deeper group effort which also briefly looks at what people in different cultures consider healthy, and the enormous costs of medicalization of anything even slightly unpleasant. It is worth the read if you are interested in some of the dynamics in whether culture is heading over a fiscal cliff trying to pay for eliminating all unpleasantness from life.
Karl W Hess, MD
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