The working group Social Epidemiology focuses on health and illness in the context of society. This approach in investigating health and illness aims at understanding how socially structured living conditions affect the health of individuals and groups. This connects to the question, which measures can be taken to influence this interplay and how health inequities can be reduced.

In this context, we are especially interested in marginalized people’s health. Our assumption is hereby that marginalization makes people sick, while sickness can give rise to marginalization or aggravate it. We therefore assume that marginalized groups of patients should receive special attention within the health care system and public health policy.

At the same time, research on the workings of health care at the margins can be seen as health care system’s stress test: It can lay open structural deficits of health care and suggest solutions that benefit patients well beyond our target groups.

Our research focuses on health of asylum seekers and the medical care they receive, the relation between marginalization and mental health, and the health of disadvantaged children and other vulnerable groups.