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Chapter 1

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Health Studies
HLST 1010
Dennis Raphael

Chapter 1 Epidemiological approaches to population healthStephen BezruchkaEpidemiology is the study of health and its determinants in specified populations with the goal of improving healthEpidemic derives from causes of diseases Used for the last 125 years and it concerned with illness and wellbeing rather than health and health care The gap between the rich and poor is the key factor in producing health The gap matters most in early life between conception and age 5Early EpidemiologyThe origins of epidemiology John Snow studied people who had cholera in London 150 years go By plotting the incidence of death on maps he discovered an association between deaths in various districts and the sources of drinking water He went door to door counting deaths and asking about those homes water sources He hypothesized that the plague was spread by contaminated water from evacuations of infected people Snow removed the offending pumps handles although he did not understand that it was bacteria that spread the disease Death declinedSnows study demonstrated that if we wish to produce health we can do so without understanding all the links between the causes and outcomes of diseaseWilliam Farr the registrargeneral in London recognized that poverty was an important contributor to poor health Poor health are the behaviours and environmental exposures associated with poverty Health as a Concept Differs on the Level Being ConsideredCellular level individual human level and population level how health can be produced within a society Cellular level Community of different kinds of cells grouped together in various organ systems This includes or nervous system respiratory system musculoskeletal systemIndividual human level Community of cells that comprise each of usour health is improved by following all the dos and donts such as eating healthy food exercising not smoking wearing seat belt Population level what an individual does for their own health would not matter as muchRisk factors behaviour or other characteristicThe Cause of the CauseClifford GeertzIndian Story famous anthropologistThe world rested on a platform on the back of an elephant which rested on turtles all the way down To determine the cause of the disease we can look at the cause of the causegoing back to the source of the problem There are six questions to ponder
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