Midterm: Epidemiology and Urbanization Essay

Submitted By awelling1974
Words: 734
Pages: 3

1) Explain the effects of Urbanization

According to Cyril, Oldroyd and Renzaho, “despite the plethora of studies examining the effect of increased urbanization on health, no single study has systematically examined the measurement properties of scales used to measure urbanicity” (Cyril, Oldroyd & Renzaho, 2013). This leaves urbanization open for interpretation. The effects on public health are obvious. The socioeconomic statuses play a part in the urbanization. This would be overpopulation in poverty stricken areas and the lack of health inequalities. Of course with greater urbanization come greater chances for communicable and non-communicable diseases. According to Cyril et al, “high urbanization is associated with an increased risk of chronic disease such as higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and the metabolic syndrome” (Cyril et al, 2013). This would include shifts in dietary and activity in life styles which result in “sleep disturbances and stress-related disorders and cognitive impairments” (Cyril et al, 2013).

According to Akmaral (n.d.), urbanization is usually a developing country activity. The pull to urban areas is generally the belief that it will somehow be a better life for the family if they move. This is found a lot in Africa. With the urbanization or the migration of people from one area to another causes unsanitary conditions and the transmission of disease is much higher. The other problem contributing to this may actually be the media, which puts the city life on a pedestal. People often feel that their life will be better somehow moving to the city. The other issue is the increase in infant mortality in the cities. This may actually be due to lack of access to agricultural foods that the family may actually have if they lived rurally.

The cost of food, housing and clothing goes up with the population migration. There are less resources available to include water and food, and the demand is there to keep rising which drives up cost. Due to the governments weak infrastructure, it may not be able to meet the need of the common people. Unemployment and other activities that go with it such as “drug abuse, crime and homelessness” (Akmaral, n.d.), can also put pressure on the cities to supply basic needs for its citizens and often the cities cannot because they are controlled by private capitalism.

Urbanization does have its benefits. These might include growth of the economy, more efficient social services, better health care and other such benefits. The consequences may outweigh the benefits in that poverty, unemployment and crime may be a problem in these areas as some parents would do anything to feed their children. Due to many factors, urbanization can have a major effect on not only resources but public health.

Cyril, Sheila; Oldroyd, John; Renzaho, Andre. (2013). Urbanization, urbanicity, and health: a systematic review of the reliability and the validity of urbanicity scales. BMC Public Health 2013, 13:513. Retrieved from http://www.biomedcentral.com.

World Health Organization (WHO). (2010). Why urban health matters. Retrieved from http://www.who.int