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Analysis of Social Epidemiology Research on Infectious Diseases: Historical Patterns and Future Opportunities

Citation

Cohen, Justin M.; Wilson, Mark L.; & Aiello, Allison E. (2007). Analysis of Social Epidemiology Research on Infectious Diseases: Historical Patterns and Future Opportunities. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 61(12), 1021-1027. PMCID: PMC2465670

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite the many triumphs of biomedical research over infectious diseases, human pathogens continue to impact profoundly populations deprived of social resources. Correspondingly, health researchers have advocated a social determinants approach to the study and prevention of infectious diseases. However, it is unknown whether this call has resulted in an increase in the number of studies examining social determinants of infectious outcomes. METHODS: Research on social determinants of infectious diseases was systematically quantified by assessing temporal trends in the published literature using MEDLINE, PsycINFO and ISI Web of Science. RESULTS: Results of the literature review spanning 1966-2005 show that socially related citations increased an annual average of 180.3 for neuropsychiatric conditions, 81.9 for chronic conditions, 44.7 for sexually transmitted diseases and 18.9 for non-sexually transmitted infectious diseases (p<0.0001). Of the 279 publications found to employ the term "social epidemiology", 15 (5.4%) investigated infectious outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the literature review suggest a paucity of social research on infectious diseases. There is a need for increased dialogue and collaboration between infectious disease epidemiologists and social epidemiologists.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech.2006.057216

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2007

Journal Title

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

Author(s)

Cohen, Justin M.
Wilson, Mark L.
Aiello, Allison E.

PMCID

PMC2465670