Stanford Medicine Journal sheds light on social determinants of health, the non-medical factors that make or break us NewsCenter

“The color of your skin, the community you belong to, and the place you call home are the biggest predictors of health and longevity. Much more so than what your doctor says or what’s in your DNA,” Stanford School of Science Lloyd Minor, MD, Dean of Medicine, writes in the new issue of. Stanford Medicine magazine.

case report, Real-world health: how social factors make or break us, features articles about the ways non-medical factors—such as education, food security, housing, income, race, and social support—can strengthen or hinder our health. It also includes articles about efforts to promote health equity.

As Stanford Medicine experts point out in this issue’s lead article, these non-medical factors, called social determinants of health, are in renewed focus at Stanford Medicine and the entire health profession—the death of George Floyd by police Attention was drawn to the killing and the disproportionate impact on people of color of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Understanding that social determinants of health may limit a patient’s ability to be considered for clinical trials, for example, allows us to strive to overcome those barriers as an institution and as physicians. pays,” says neuro-oncologist Reena Thomas, MD, PhD, clinical associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences in the lead article.

Published research on the social determinants of health has increased by 600% over the past decade, with a rapid increase since 2020, and physicians like Thomas are caring for patients with the knowledge that non-medical factors can affect their health. affect the health of patients.

Also in this issue is a Q&A with Stanford University’s latest Nobel laureate, Carolyn Bertozzi, PhD, on why she loves to collaborate and what makes joint efforts successful, as well as a focus on basic human biology. Several articles focusing, in particular on the process used by cells to make proteins.

The Theme Package on Social Determinants of Health includes:

A roundup of educational, clinical, research and community initiatives addressing the challenges presented by the social determinants of health – from screening pediatric patients to food insecurity; for the first large-scale nationwide survey of LGBTQ health; To partner with Roots Community Health Center Clinics to identify needs and challenges in accessing telehealth services.

A story about the challenge of dealing with breast cancer when your culture considers talking about breasts a taboo. This article focuses on the experiences of South Asian women with breast cancer in the US by Ranak Trivedi, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

A Q&A with health equity expert Alice Adams, PhD, the inaugural Stanford Medicine Innovation Professor, in which she talks with Priya Singh, Stanford Medicine’s chief strategy officer and senior associate dean, about what inspires her and when it comes to What gives her hope is improving health for underserved populations.

A look at what’s behind the extraordinary longevity and health of people in Nicoya, Costa Rica, and a few other places around the world, known as the Blue Zones. The article describes research by David Rehkoff, ScD, an associate professor of epidemiology and population health, showing that certain social factors may keep cells young.

An article highlighting the work and perspectives of Stanford Health Care physicians caring for the homeless at the Peninsula Healthcare Connection in Palo Alto, California.

A feature about pediatrician Anisha Patel’s quest to fight childhood obesity through safe, palatable drinking water. Research by Patel, an associate professor of pediatrics, helped lead to legislation requiring schools to provide free water. Through her partnership with San Francisco Bay Area schools, she’s also looking for ways to encourage kids to drink water instead of soda or juice.

This issue also includes two articles on protein synthesis:

A discussion on ribosomes, the molecular machines that translate mRNA into proteins, explains startling research by Maria Barna, PhD, an associate professor of genetics, that has overturned a central dogma of genetics. Their work shows that ribosomes are unexpectedly selective about which genes they translate, which has major implications for biomedical research.

A look back at the making of a cult classic film from 1971, Protein Synthesis: An Epic at the Cellular Level, which delightfully demonstrates—through dance, psychedelic music, and “jabberwocky”-inspired poetry—how proteins are made. The film stars a young Professor Paul Berg, PhD, who later won the Nobel in Chemistry, and dozens of Stanford University students.

Stanford Medicine The journal is available online at as well as in print. Request a copy by sending an email to [email protected]


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