Longitudinal and Life Course Studies
An international journal

Reconstructing the mixed mechanisms of health: the role of bio- and sociomarkers

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  • 1 University of Kent, , UK
  • | 2 University of Amsterdam, , Netherlands
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It is widely agreed that social factors are related to health outcomes: much research has served to establish correlations between classes of social factors on the one hand and classes of disease on the other hand. However, why and how social factors are an active part in the aetiology of disease development is something that is gaining attention only recently in the health sciences and in the medical humanities. In this paper, we advance the view that, just as biomarkers help trace the causal continuum from exposure to disease development at the biological level, sociomarkers ought to be introduced and studied in order to trace the social continuum from exposure to disease development. We explain how sociomarkers differ from social indicators and how they can be used in combination with biomarkers in order to reconstruct the mixed mechanisms of health and disease, namely mechanisms in which both biological and social factors have an active causal role.

  • 1 University of Kent, , UK
  • | 2 University of Amsterdam, , Netherlands

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