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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2010 Feb;7(2):675-97. doi: 10.3390/ijerph7020675. Epub 2010 Feb 24.

The changing disease-scape in the third epidemiological transition.

Author information

  • 1Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar Program, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA. kh2383@columbia.edu


The epidemiological transition model describes the changing relationship between humans and their diseases. The first transition occurred with the shift to agriculture about 10,000 YBP, resulting in a pattern of infectious and nutritional diseases still evident today. In the last two centuries, some populations have undergone a second transition, characterized by a decline in infectious disease and rise in degenerative disease. We are now in the throes of a third epidemiological transition, in which a resurgence of familiar infections is accompanied by an array of novel diseases, all of which have the potential to spread rapidly due to globalization.


degenerative disease; epidemiological transition; globalization; infectious disease

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