Do the rich live longer than the poor? To what extent do class and occupational positions affect onefs health? How does social capital relate to illness? In what ways do social structures influence health literacy? How about other variables such as place of residence, house ownership, educational level, population density and marriage status? Eleven experts collectively grapple with these and other questions in the Japanese and international contexts through empirical studies and comparative analysis. From the perspective of social epidemiology, the contributors to this novel study examine the webs linking social distribution and social determinants of health and present provocative conclusions. All three editors of this volume are Professors in the Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Tokyo.