Medicine And Books

Disease and Social Diversity: The European Impact on the Health of Non-Europeans

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 26 November 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1449
  1. D J P Barker

    Stephen J Kunitz Oxford University Press, £37.50, pp 209 ISBN 0-19-508530-2

    Australian Aborigines have higher rates of coronary heart disease than white people. American Indians have lower rates than white Americans. These differences cannot be explained by coronary risk factors that are linked to adult lifestyle, and to attribute them to unknown genes is simply to pre-empt further discussion.

    Diseases, Stephen Kunitz maintains, rarely act as independent forces, as dei ex machina whose consequences are everywhere the same. Rather their expression in populations is moulded by social organisation and by cultural values and economics. A simple example is the varying prevalence of sterility due …

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