Social determinants of health (SDOH) are widely recognized as external social and economic conditions influencing morbidity, mortality, and quality of life. SDOH cover a wide range of social needs, such as social connectedness, food security, transportation, and financial resources.
Older adults who fare well with regard to SDOH are more likely to be in better health and better able to maintain their health in the long-term. Having multiple unmet social needs increases the risk of poor health outcomes for older adults.
Using data from a nationally-representative survey of adults aged 50 and older, this issue brief informs policy makers, practitioners, and advocates about the prevalence of SDOH-related needs and the threat they pose to older adults’ health.