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Health Aff (Millwood). 2002 Mar-Apr;21(2):78-93.

The case for more active policy attention to health promotion.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.


Until recently, when anthrax triggered a concern about preparedness in the public health infrastructure, U.S. health policy and health spending had been dominated by a focus on payment for medical treatment. The fact that many of the conditions driving the need for treatment are preventable ought to draw attention to policy opportunities for promoting health. Following a brief review of the determinants of population health-genetic predispositions, social circumstances, environmental conditions, behavioral patterns, and medical care-this paper explores some of the factors inhibiting policy attention and resource commitment to the nonmedical determinants of population health and suggests approaches for sharpening the public policy focus to encourage disease prevention and health promotion.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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