Panel no. 77 - Health Transition in Modern Societies


Title Dr First name Jelena Last name Ĺ arac
Institution Institute for Anthropological Research City Zagreb Country HR


Title Prof First name Noel Last name Cameron
Institution name Loughborough University City Loughborough Country GB


Panel title

Health Transition in Modern Societies

Panel abstract

Since Omran's description of "epidemiologic transition" in 1971 research across developing and industrialised nations has identified the complex patterning of health and disease and their associated demographic, socioeconomic, social, and behavioural determinants. In the last two decades, the wider framework of "health transition" has been used to elaborate the simple notion of a shift from communicable to non-communicable diseases (NCD) as the major cause of mortality across the globe. In this paradigm it is recognised that understanding the cultural, social, and behavioural factors that drive transition is fundamental to elucidating the ways in which health care can be improved and the increasing prevalence of mortality from NCDs prevented. Special attention is now being given to the relationship between maternal and child health and the critical periods in human growth when it can have a sustainable effect on the child's health across the life course. In this context, maternal and child issues during gestation, infancy, and childhood have been a particular focus. In addition, the development of habitual physical activity and nutritional behaviours during late childhood and adolescence have been identified as critical determinants of increasing the risk for NCDs in early adulthood. This panel will be used to explore the anthropological approaches to understanding the cultural, social, and behavioural factors associated with health transition in a variety of national developmental and transitional scenarios. Reference: Omran AR. The epidemiologic transition. A theory of the epidemiology of population change. Milbank Mem Fund Q. 1971 Oct;49(4):509-38.

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