Literature Review on Health Disparities and Social Capital in Japan

Etsuko Watanabe, Jung Su Lee, Sakurako Ichinohe, Eisuke Nakazawa
Volume 5 Issue 2 Pages 26-46
First Published: March 24, 2023



Health disparities are considered to be influenced by physical environment and social capital in addition to socioeconomic factors, and it is essential to understand the current status and issues of health disparities and social capital in Japan in order to develop effective public health policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, we conducted a literature review to understand the current state of research on health disparities and social capital in Japan and studied regional differences in social capital. Studies on health disparities were broadly classified into those that examined health disparities among regions and indicators related to such disparities. Studies on social capital were roughly divided into those that examined the relationship between social capital and health indicators, and social capital and local environmental indicators. Most studies were cross-sectional; cohort or intervention studies were rare. Few studies used physical environment indicators as relevant indicators of health inequalities, and few examined the association between social capital and community environment indicators.


Key words

Health disparity, regional disparity, social capital, Japan, literature review