Health Innovator: Patients Who Are Asked About Food, Heat See Medical Benefits

New research out Monday shows that when primary care patients get help attaining basic resources — like food, housing, heat and access to affordable medicines — it leads to improvements in their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

The findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, may be intuitive. But they provide further evidence that a Boston-based nonprofit founded 20 years ago by a Harvard undergraduate is on the right track by focusing on patients’ “unmet social needs” as a critical pathway toward true health.

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