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Lecture 2

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

ANTC68 Lecture 2: Epidemiology and Anthropology Epidemiology The study of (human) disease, illness, and injury Causes, manifestations, distribution and consequences and the application of this study to the control of health problems (public health) Interactions of host, agent and environment It examines the biology and behaviour of humans (host) and disease-causing pathogens (agents), as well as non-living and living environmental factors (natural and cultural) influencing the development and manifestations of disease Applies this knowledge to deal with and control of health problems Descriptive, theoretical (models), analytical (quantitative) and applied (public health controlprevention) Paleoepidemiology Use of epidemiologice methods to infer how certain diseases might have been distributed in ancient time How, why and where they originated Try to predict possible futures of communicable and other diseases and possible trends in the emergence of new diseases and re-emergence of old ones Importance of studying prevalence over incidence Sources of evidence: human hardsoft tissues, archaeological evidence (demography), cemetery and (ethno) historical records, even ethnographic analogy Hippocrates (c. 460-377 B.C.E.) All matter made up of 4 elements: earth, air, fire, water Each possess corresponding qualities of cold, dry, hot and moist These elements carried in the body by 4 humours (bodily fluids): phlegm, yellow bile (choler, secreted by liver), blood and black bile (gall, secreted by kidneys and spleen) Disease is a product of a disturbance in the bodily humours, or from climate and weather effects (thus health = good balance of humours) From Description to Analysis Miasma and Cholera London, England th 4 major cholera outbreaks in mid-19 C Cholera: acute intestinal infection caused by bacterium Vibrio cholera 600 + deaths in 1854 John Snow Medical Geography Field of medicine that incorporates concepts and techniques of geography into the study of health and the spread of disease: o Examines the relationships between people and their environments in holistic terms o Spatial analysis (where disease occurs, and at what rate, is important for clues to causation)- thus distributional maps showing patterns of health-related phenomena impact of climate and location on an individuals health distribution of health services Medical Ecology
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