Human Demography and Disease

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Human Demography and Disease offers an interdisciplinary and integrated perspective on the relationship between historical populations and the dynamics of epidemiological processes. It brings the techniques of time-series analysis and computer matrix modeling to historical demography and geography to extract detailed information concerning the oscillations in births, deaths, migrations and epidemics. This book presents a new way of studying preindustrial communities and explores the subtle, and hitherto undetected effects of fluctuating nutritional levels on mortality patterns and the dynamics of infectious diseases.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This excellent and well-written book addresses longstanding questions in historical demography having to do with the factors that affect population size." American Journal of Human Biology
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Deborah Rosenberg, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This book explores the potential of integrating historical demography, epidemiologic analysis of infectious diseases, and state-of-the-art mathematical modeling to more precisely describe population dynamics.
Purpose: Food production and availability, prices of other essential commodities, weather conditions, population density, and the occurrence of epidemics are jointly considered as factors influencing changes in population size and composition.
Audience: This book is intended for readers from many disciplines, including demography, geography, social history, biology, and epidemiology.
Features: The authors describe the difficulties involved in characterizing population cycles due to the complex interaction between economic, social, and biological factors. These factors are all related to each other and, in addition, are related to fertility rates and age-specific mortality rates in a community. The authors propose time series analysis as a method able to estimate the impact of these complex phenomena, both separately and in combination.
Assessment: The material is quite technical and will appeal, in particular, to those with interest or experience in time series analysis and computer matrix modeling. For those readers whose interest is more in the results than the methods employed, many case studies from pre-industrial England, Wales, and Scotland are provided to illustrate the kind of new information that the methods can yield.
Journal of the American Medical Association
Scott and Duncan have invented a new kind of telescope for looking into the past, and perhaps understanding the future. The eyepiece of the telescope is modeling. The objective lens is data analysis. To the best of my knowledge, much of what they see with this telescope has not been seen before, with this clarity or at all. There may well be justice to their claim, "We believe that this is the first fully integrated, quantitative study of population dynamics in a human community."

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521620529
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Tools for demography and epidemiology; 3. Identification of population oscillations: a case study; 4. Density-dependent control and feedback; 5. Modelling the endogenous oscillations and predictions from time-series analysis; 6. Cycles in the grain price series; 7. Interactions of exogenous cycles: a case study; 8. Mortality crises and the effects of the price of wool; 9. Modelling epidemics for the demographer: the dynamics of smallpox in London; 10. Non-linear modelling of the two-yearly epidemics in smallpox: the genesis of chaos?; 11. Measles and whooping cough in London; 12. Integration of the dynamics of infectious diseases with the demography of London; 13. Smallpox in rural towns in England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; 14. Infectious diseases in England and Wales in the nineteenth century; 15. Prospectives - towards a meta-population study; References; Index.

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