There is a large body of empirical evidence to suggest that social conditions are one of the major determinants of population health.
These are defined as the ‘Social Determinants of Health (SDH)’. SDH refers to the specific pathways by which social forces affect
health. This study aims to examine the relationship between social determinants and infant mortality in Malaysia. The methodology
comprises of an ecological (area-based) population health survey involving all 135 administrative districts of Malaysia. Statistical
analysis using general linear model including correlations, factor analysis and multiple regression were undertaken in order to
examine the influence of determinants on variations observed in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). Simple regression revealed significant
relation between IMR with fifteen predictors, but multiple regressions failed because of multicollinearity among variables. Factor
analysis was done to identify similar items. With the new group of variables, economic development explained 27%, socioeconomic
status explained 21%, income inequality explained 14%, service provision 9% and finally type of housing explained 4% of the
variability observed in IMR. . One unit increase in living standard would reduce IMR by 1.6 while a unit increase in income distribution
would increase IMR by 0.9. In conclusion, developing a better understanding of the social determinants of IMR is critical in order to
ameliorate the social determinants associated with poor health and to reduce the health disparities within the population.