Over the past decade, a rapidly expanding body of scientific evidence has been put forth documenting differences in health status among U.S. racial and ethnic groups. Evidence has also mounted suggesting that these differences may be related to both medical and nonmedical determinants. Internationally, however, neither the evidence nor the realization of a link between nonmedical sociobehavioral factors and health outcomes is new. The earliest reported observation of a hypothesized association between socioenvironmental risk factors and health outcomes occurred in Italy over three centuries ago when Bernardino Ramazzini detailed an unusually high frequency of breast cancer in Catholic nuns (Wilson, Jones, Coussens, & Hanna, 2002). Not long thereafter, in 1775, British surgeon Sir Percival Pott reported a cluster of scrotal cancer cases among British chimney sweeps (Wilson et al., 2002).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Access to Information: Ability to get the right information at the right place at the right time.
Socioeconomic Factors: Social and economic factors that impact the ability to get needed health care solutions.
Digital Disparities: Differences in groups of populations due to impact of technology.
Internet: Web-based technologies.
E-Health: Health care information or services provided using Web-based technologies.