Medical Geography, Third Edition / Edition 3

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The Leading Text in the Field, This Book provides a Comprehensive Introduction to Geographic approaches to studying disease and promoting health. It presents cutting-edge techniques of spatial and social analysis and explores their relevance for understanding cultural and political ecology, disease systems, and public health issues across the globe. Essential topics include how new diseases emerge and epidemics develop in particular places; the intersecting influences on health of biological processes, culture, environment, and behavior; and the changing landscape of health care planning and service delivery. The text is richly illustrated with tables, figures, and maps, including 16 color plates.

New to This Edition

Thoroughly updated in response to the challenges of globalization, development, and demographic changes.

Incorporates the latest data and conceptual frameworks.

Chapters on neighborhood analysis and the use of GIS in modeling health and disease.

GIS applications and examples are integrated throughout.

"...this revised & expanded 2nd edition surveys the perspectives, methodologies & theories that geographers use to address the subject of human health & disease with clearly presented vignettes, tables, figures & maps."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The third edition of this classic text is now even more accessible, and is a 'must have' for all interested in medical geography. In addition to the traditional disease ecology and environmental themes, the text presents exciting new information on current issues of concern such as globalization, disease, and development. It offers the finest treatment of the medical geography of developmental changes that I have seen. The text is ideal for medical geography, public health, and environmental health courses, as well as the burgeoning number of courses focusing on interdisciplinary and health issues."--Joseph R. Oppong, Department of Geography, University of North Texas 
"With new chapters on GIS and neighborhoods and health, and an expanded chapter on spatial analysis, the third edition of this enduring text builds on the strengths of prior editions. The vignettes have been scaled back to focus on important ones that offer students key analytical tools and skills. Meade and Emch have provided an absolutely superb textbook that will deepen our understanding of what medical geography really is and how it promotes health and well-being. Instructors and students will find the book refreshing and easy to read and use. Health science researchers without prior knowledge of GIS and geospatial analysis will find it an excellent entry point for analyzing health-related data geographically."--Ezekiel Kalipeni, Department of Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"This classic text has been the mainstay of Medical Geography classes in the United States for the last 10 years. The third edition contains several welcome updates, especially the sections on GIS and spatial analysis. This is one of the few texts that synthesize many different areas of health and medical geography. Coverage ranges from spatial epidemiology to service delivery, and from densely packed urban environments to impoverished rural areas. The chapters and vignettes make for excellent discussions, giving students enough information to understand the importance and uniqueness of geographic perspectives on health."--Andrew Curtis, Department of Geography, University of Southern California

This revised and expanded edition surveys the perspectives, methodologies, and theories geographers use to address human health and illness. Providing a broad-based, comprehensive survey of the diversity of medical geography, for upper-division undergraduates and graduates, the volume also serves as a reference for classifications, processes, and systems approached from a holistic and international perspective. In sum, the book provides necessary biology for geographers to understand disease processes and the necessary geographical background for health researchers to understand spatial processes. Topics include the biometeorology of health status, geographies of disease in economically developed areas, health care delivery systems worldwide, and worldwide pollution from noise, radiation, chemicals, and the byproducts of burning. Both authors are medical geographers, Meade at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Earickson at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606230169
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/4/2010
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 497
  • Sales rank: 934,104
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

 Melinda S. Meade, a medical geographer, is Professor of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, a member of the Institute of Environment, and a fellow of the Carolina Population Center. In addition to the first and second editions of Medical Geography, Dr. Meade has published journal articles on the disease ecology of tropical Asia and the United States. She is a member of the Association of American Geographers and other geographic, Asian studies, and population associations.

Michael Emch, a medical geographer, is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he directs the Spatial Health Research Group. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology and a fellow of the Carolina Population Center. Dr. Emch has published journal articles on disease ecology, primarily of infectious diseases of the tropical world. He is a member of the Association of American Geographers and is also an advisory editor for the international journal Social Science and Medicine.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1. Questions of Medical Geography
Chapter 2. The Human Ecology of Disease
Chapter 3. Landscape Epidemiology
Chapter 4. Developmental Change and Human Health
Chapter 5. The Biometeorology of Health Status
Chapter 6. The Pollution Syndrome
Chapter 7. Geographies of Disease in Economically Developed Areas
Chapter 8. Disease Diffusion in Space
Chapter 9. Health Care Delivery Systems Worldwide
Chapter 10. Distribution of Health Care Resources
Chapter 11. Accessibility, Utilization, and Health Services Planning
Chapter 12. Data, Measures, and Methodologies
Chapter 13. Scale, Spatial Analysis, and Geographic Visualization
Chapter 14. Concluding Words

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Table of Contents

1 Questions of Medical Geography 1

What's in a Name? 2

A Brief History of Medical Geography 9

Definitions and Terminology 17

The Challenge of Medical Geography 21

References 22

Further Reading 24

2 The Human Ecology of Disease 26

Health 27

The Triangle of Human Ecology 30

Transmission and Creation of Infectious Disease 44

Nutrition and Health 55

Conclusion 65

References 65

Further Reading 67

Vignette 2.1 Biological Classifications of Importance to Health 68

3 Maps and Geographic Information Systems in Medical Geography 73

Cartography of Disease 74

Types of Maps: Some Issues 77

Geographic Information Systems 83

Disease Maps on the Web 91

Conclusion 93

References 94

Further Reading 95

4 Landscape Epidemiology 98

Regions 99

Transmissible Disease Systems 100

The Landscape Epidemiology Approach 110

The Cultural Dimension of Water-Based Disease Transmission 116

The Cultural Ecology of Tick-Borne and Other Transmissible Diseases 131

Regionalization 136

Ecological Complications 138

Conclusion 142

References 142

Further Reading 143

Vignette 4.1 Field Mapping for Landscape Epidemiology 145

5 Transitions and Development 149

Ecologies of Population Change: Multiple Transitions 150

Major Impacts of Population Change 162

Nutrition in Transition 165

The Mobility Transition and Time-Space Geography 168

Disease Ecologies of the Agricultural Frontier 173

Other Development Impacts on Rural Ecologies 180

World Urbanization and Changing Disease Ecologies 184

Globalization of Movements 192

Conclusion: Emerging Diseases in Your Future 195

References 196

Further Reading 199

Vignette 5.1 Age Standardization 201

Vignette 5.2 Microspatial Exposure Analysis 204

6 Climate and Weather: Influences on Health 207

Direct Biometeorological Influences 209

The Influences of the Weather 215

Seasonality of Death and Birth 221

How Climate Change Is Likely to Affect Health and Disease 227

Conclusion 232

References 234

Further Reading 236

Vignette 6.1 Monthly Indexes 236

Vignette 6.2 Seasonality of Birth 238

Vignette 6.3 Physical Zonation of Climates and Biomes 244

7 The Pollution Syndrome 247

Toxic Hazards of Natural and Economic Origins 248

Outdoor Air Pollution 249

Indoor Air Pollution 259

Water Pollution 260

Radioactive Pollution 265

Risk Assessment and Prevention 271

Globalization and the Perception of Health Hazards 272

The Geometry of Hazards, Power, and Policy 274

Conclusion 276

References 276

Further Reading 279

8 Political Ecology of Noncommunicable Diseases 281

The Dimension of Mortality 283

The Poverty Syndrome 288

Race in the Study of Health Risks 292

Gender: Women's Health 294

Causal Reasoning and Epidemiological Design 300

Disease Ecology: Cancer 304

Disease Ecology: Cardiovascular Disease 314

Unknown Etiology and Other Questions 325

The Precautionary Principle and Some Political Ecology of Research 329

Conclusion 333

References 334

Further Reading 337

9 Neighborhoods and Health 339

The Concept of Neighborhood Health 339

Neighborhood Definition and Units 341

Analyzing Neighborhood Effects on Health 345

Effects of the Built Environment on Health 346

The Challenges of Neighborhood Health Studies 347

Conclusion 348

References 348

Further Reading 350

10 Disease Diffusion in Space 351

Terminology 352

Disease Diffusion 358

Modeling Disease Diffusion 359

Influenzas 375

Geographic Approaches to the Pandemic of AIDS 380

Other Epidemics 398

References 398

Further Reading 401

Vignette 10.1 Diffusion Waves or Stochastic Simulation of Individual Contact? 403

11 Health Care and Promotion 407

Asclepius: Provision of Medical Care 409

Asclepius Unrobed: Cultural Alternatives and Perceptions 431

Hygeia: Health Promotion 442

References 444

Further Reading 447

Vignette 11.1 Application of Spatial Statistics to Health Care Delivery 448

12 Scale, Spatial Analysis, and Geographic Visualization 453

Some Issues of Scale 454

The Ecological Fallacy 454

Scale of Analysis and Units of Observation 455

Sources for Spatial Disease Data 458

Visualizing and Summarizing Disease Distributions 459

Spatial Analysis 463

Spatial Statistics 466

Conclusion 468

References 468

Further Reading 469

Vignette 12.1 Chi-Square Statistical Test 471

Vignette 12.2 Regression Analysis 474

Vignette 12.3 Spatial Autocorrelation 479

13 Concluding Words 483

Index 486

About the Authors 498

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