Produced by California Newsreel with Vital Pictures
Presented by CAAM and the National Minority Consortia
Public Engagement Campaign in association with the Joint Center Health Policy Institute
A four-hour documentary series exploring our socio-economic and racial inequities in
health. The series starts this Thursday @ 10 pm on KQED. Airing four consecutive Thursdays at 10:00 pm, March 27 to April 17, 2008.
To learn more about this historic PBS series and its groundbreaking outreach plan, please
A groundbreaking new documentary series crisscrosses the country exploring how the social
conditions in which Americans are born, live and work profoundly affect health and
longevity, even more than medical care, behaviors and genes. This four-hour television
and DVD series challenges fundamental beliefs about what makes Americans healthy – or
sick – and offers new remedies for an ailing society.
UNNATURAL CAUSES: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? coincides with the intensifying
presidential election year debates focusing on the estimated 47 million Americans lacking
health coverage. While embracing the essential need for universal health care, UNNATURAL
CAUSES goes further, questioning what makes people ill in the first place, and probing
why economic status, race and zip code are more powerful predictors of health status and
life expectancy than even smoking.
Experts and public health professionals have long emphasized that because these
conditions are distributed unequally, so are patterns of chronic disease: e.g., heart
disease, stroke, diabetes, asthma, even cancer. Each episode sheds light on the mounting
evidence that work, wealth, neighborhood conditions and lack of access to power and
resources can get under the skin and disrupt human biology as surely as germs and viruses.