Panel no. 14 - Environmental Stress Impact on Human Biology, Health Status and Demography


Title Prof First name Grażyna Last name Liczbińska
Institution Adam Mickiewicz University, Faculty of Biology, Institute of Anthropology City Poznań Country PL


Title Prof First name Miroslav Last name Králík
Institution name Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University City Brno Country CZ


Panel title

Environmental Stress Impact on Human Biology, Health Status and Demography

Panel abstract

The influence of long-term wars, economic crises and political transformations on the biological status of human populations is of interest of a large group of researchers and scholars. All of the above inflict psychological stresses associated with fear of losing life, health, family members, property, job, as well as with the threat of famine. The Russian famine of the 1920s, the Dutch Famine and the famine during the siege of Leningrad of WWII are the best known examples providing some information on the influence of long-term food shortages and stress on humans exposed to them in utero and during the first years of life, which manifest by shorter body height, hypertension, obesity, postponed menarche or earlier menopause. Meanwhile there are studies of populations that experienced modern armed conflicts or contemporary wars: the Balkans war, the civil war in Colombia, the Egyptian Revolution, the Libyan conflict in 2011, the 9/11 New York terrorist attack, the Second Intifada in 2000. The relatively recent economic and political transformations in the former Eastern Europe, the Argentine financial crisis or economic crisis in Greece, could have also affected the health and biological status of humans and their well-being. Increases in stature have been accepted as reflecting the overall beneficial effects of economic improvement in many regions of the world. On the other hand, economic, social and political changes have been associated with the increased incidence of chronic diseases and the increased prevalence of overweight and obesity in both developed and developing countries. Both conditions were attributed to changes in life style and diet in human populations over time. Lifestyle changes are accompanied by changes in family patterns. The panel we propose seeks to create a platform for sharing results of interdisciplinary research on the impact of wars, political transformations, economic crises, etc. on biology, health status and demography of human populations from different regions of the world between the 19th and 21st centuries.

IUAES Commission