Topic2 - HLTH 101 F a ll, 2 0 1 1 TOPIC 2: CHANGES IN HUMAN...

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HLTH 101 Fall, 2011 TOPIC 2: CHANGES IN HUMAN HEALTH STATUS In order to fully understand the nature of health and disease, we ned to try to understand the history of human health. We may hear people say that we’re less healthy now than we’ve been for hundreds of years, or that there was a time in the past when people were somehow living in harmony with nature and therefore lived long lives blessed with good health. While some people in the past did live long healthy lives, and while many aspects of modern life are harmful to our health, health is one of those (few?) aspects of our existence that has clearly improved over our history. We’ll see that this improvement hasn’t been steady but, instead, has occurred mainly over the past 180 years. You’ll also notice that we are usually referring to the health of human populations over time rather than of individual humans during their lifetime. As you learned in the first lecture, this is the population health approach, and it is the approach we will be relying upon through most of this course. SUPPLEMENTAL READINGS (Recommended but not Required) i. Armelagos, G.J., Brown, P.J., and Turner, B. (2005). Evolutionary, historical and political economic perspectives on health and disease. Social Science and Medicine , 61: 755- 765. This review article surveys the history of human health and mortality and is a good introduction to many of the ideas that will be expressed throughout this course. ii. Omran, A.R. (2005). The epidemiologic transition: A theory of the epidemiology of population change. The Milbank Quarterly , 83: 731-757.
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HLTH 101 Fall, 2011 This is a good introduction to the so-called "epidemiologic transition" that occurred throughout the past 160-200 years. It is from the Millbank Quarterly. If you can't access it from the link to the electronic library, then try cutting and pasting the following URL into your web browser: http://www.milbank.org/quarterly/830418omran.pdf LECTURE NOTES: THE HISTORY OF HUMAN MORTALITY INTRODUCTION Recall from lecture one the first of our first principles of health research and
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Topic2 - HLTH 101 F a ll, 2 0 1 1 TOPIC 2: CHANGES IN HUMAN...

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