The globalization of epidemiology: introductory remarks.

Pearce, N; (2004) The globalization of epidemiology: introductory remarks. International journal of epidemiology, 33 (5). pp. 1127-31. ISSN 0300-5771 DOI:

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We are all living in the era of globalization, and like it or not, it is going to change the way we practice epidemiology, the kinds of questions we ask, and the methods we use to answer them. Increasingly, pubic health problems are being shifted from rich countries to poor countries and from rich to poor populations within Western countries. There is increasing interest and concern about the situation in non-Western populations on the part of Western epidemiologists, with regards to collaborative research, skills transfer, and 'volunteerism' to enable the 'benefits' of Western approaches to epidemiology to be shared by the non-Western world. However, most existing collaborations benefit Western epidemiologists rather than the countries in which the research is conducted. Even when research in non-Western populations is conducted as a genuine collaboration, it can too often 'export failure' from the West. On the other hand, non-Western epidemiologists are increasingly developing new and innovative approaches to health research that are more appropriate to the global public health issues they are addressing. These include recognition of the importance of context and the importance of diversity and local knowledge, and a problem-based approach to addressing the major public health problems using appropriate technology. These debates formed the background for a plenary session on 'International Epidemiology and International Health' at the recent International Epidemiological Association (IEA) meeting in Montreal, and the papers from this session are presented here. The development of a truly global epidemiology can not only better address the public health problems in non-Western populations, but can shed light on the current limitations of epidemiology in addressing the major public health problems in the West.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Medical Statistics
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 15218011
Web of Science ID: 224355900032


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