Globally, cause-specific death rates among children and adults in low- and middle-income countries consistently outnumber those of high-income countries. However, in many countries, the prevalence and causes of disease are shifting as individuals and countries become wealthier, gain access to education and media, and face changing lifestyles, diets, and environments. For example, even in places where infectious diseases such as tuberculosis are still common, non-communicable diseases such as diabetes are becoming more prevalent. The intensification of air pollution in highly populated cities creates new health risks, and new patterns of global migration in many countries also contribute to changing disease burdens globally.
While the specific patterns of disease may vary, many countries globally face similar challenges in addressing population health. For example, in many countries, racial/ethnic and socio-economic inequalities contribute to poor health outcomes among the disadvantaged and drive health disparities. The study of health and its social determinants in diverse settings outside the United States can help us better understand similar issues within the US, while identifying strategies to address health disparities and improve outcomes at home and abroad.
CSEPH faculty and affiliates are leading research examining the social determinants of mortality, infectious infectious diseases, and non-communicable diseases in a range of international settings across Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Several projects include a specific focus on the health of migrant populations. This research aims to inform national and global health policies, asking questions such as: How does migration shape health risks and outcomes? How do rapid changes in the composition of a population shape health care access and disparities? How do different environments, policies, and health systems affect health outcomes?