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Global Health. 2011 Oct 7;7:36. doi: 10.1186/1744-8603-7-36.

Understanding chronic non-communicable diseases in Latin America: towards an equity-based research agenda.

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Department of Sociology, DePaul University, 990 W, Fullerton Ave,, Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60614, USA.


Although chronic non-communicable diseases are traditionally depicted as diseases of affluence, growing evidence suggests they strike along the fault lines of social inequality. The challenge of understanding how these conditions shape patterns of population health in Latin America requires an inter-disciplinary lens. This paper reviews the burden of chronic non-communicable diseases in the region and examines key myths surrounding their prevalence and distribution. It argues that a social justice approach rooted in the idea of health inequity needs to be at the core of research in this area, and concludes with discussion of a new approach to guide empirical research, the 'average/deprivation/inequality' framework.

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