Click our infographic to find out how education and health and linked. Photo by The Nation’s Health

Issues such as equal access to affordable housing and income redistribution may have their political foes, but Anthony Iton said he is hard-pressed to find anyone against high-quality education for everyone.

“Education is the single most important modifiable social determinant of health,” Iton, MD, JD, MPH, senior vice president for healthy communities at the California Endowment and an APHA member, told The Nation’s Health. “Income and education are the two big ones that correlate most strongly with life expectancy and most health status measures.”

Social determinants of health are the social, economic and physical environment factors that impact well-being, such as housing, access to health care and employment. But length and quality of education is crosscutting — it predicts employment and income, which influences where someone can live and if they can afford health care. Education is not just about what is learned in the classroom; it is also about the doors it unlocks to future well-being.

Visit The Nation’s Health online to continue reading this story from the August 2016 issue.