Health Determinants


After this unit, students should be able to:
1. Define determinants of health.
2. To describe the effect of cultural, socio-economic, environmental, individual and genetic factors on individual and population health status.
3. Use data, information and knowledge to discuss the contribution of different factors to the health of individuals and populations.
4. Discuss, in a comprehensive way, the factors that influence a health problem.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Cláudia Conceição


Weekly - 8

Total - 36

Teaching language

English and Portuguese


Attendance of 2/3 of classes is mandatory


• Göran Dahlgren and Margaret Whitehead. Policies and strategies to promote social equity in health. Background document to WHO – Strategy paper for Europe.
• WHO, The determinants of health
• Water Sanitation and Hygiene 2015–2020. A Global Strategy for accelerating and sustaining progress on Neglected Tropical Diseases.
• Nolte E, McKee M. Does healthcare save lives? Avoidable mortality revisited. London: The Nuffield Trust, 2004.

Teaching method

Theoretical and theory/practical classes, with debate, in which the basic concepts to teach, will be transmitted with audio-visual support. Interpretation of problems and information taking into account the knowledge acquired in theoretical and theoretical-practical classes.

Evaluation method

The students, with a minimum of 2/3 of frequency, will be evaluated based on two parameters: evaluation of participation in a seminar and a written exam (with two components).

Subject matter

I. Health determinants. Introduction.
II. Socio-structural and intermediate determinants of health.
III. Health determinants. Health systems.
IV. Health in proto-cities and displaced populations.
V. Environmental determinants of health. Planetary limits.
VI.Health determinants: nutrition.


Programs where the course is taught: