Eco-epidemiology: On the need to measure health effects from global change

Colin L. Soskolne

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    While illnesses manifest in various ways, it is epidemiologists who work to unravel the patterns of these illnesses within populations. The expectation, in both communicable and chronic diseases epidemiology, is that relevant measurements of: exposure; health and wellbeing outcomes; factors that increase people’s risk of disease; and • interventions for tackling the problems that impact on human health will allow us to determine whether population health is improving or not (Beaglehole et al, 1993). However, other branches of epidemiology, like disaster epidemiology and eco-epidemiology, do not easily conform to this model. Since one-third to one-half of the global disease burden (the brunt of which falls on children under the age of five) has been attributed to environmental risk factors (Smith et al, 1999), a new epidemiological approach that addresses the needs of eco-epidemiology is needed. The challenge for the eco-epidemiologist is to find new ways of measuring the effects of environmental degradation on human health in order to maximize the impact of policies designed to maintain or improve the health status of populations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationReconciling Human Existence with Ecological Integrity: Science, Ethics, Economics and Law
    EditorsLaura Westra, Klaus Bosselmann, Richard Westra
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherTaylor & Francis
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Electronic)9781849772297
    ISBN (Print)9781844075652
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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