Human Ecology

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 653–668 | Cite as

Ecology of Increasing Diseases: Population Growth and Environmental Degradation

  • D. PimentelEmail author
  • S. Cooperstein
  • H. Randell
  • D. Filiberto
  • S. Sorrentino
  • B. Kaye
  • C. Nicklin
  • J. Yagi
  • J. Brian
  • J. O’Hern
  • A. Habas
  • C. Weinstein


The World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations report that the prevalence of human diseases during the past decade is rapidly increasing. Population growth and the pollution of water, air, and soil are contributing to the increasing number of human diseases worldwide. Currently an estimated 40% of world deaths are due to environmental degradation. The ecology of increasing diseases has complex factors of environmental degradation, population growth, and the current malnutrition of about 3.7 billion people in the world.

Key words

Ecology environmental degradation increasing disease malnutrition pollution population growth 



We wish to thank the following people for their helpful comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this paper: N. A. Ashford, Professor of Technology and Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA; R. Detels, M.D., Professor of Epidemiology and International Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA; P. Epstein, M.D., Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; A Ferguson, Senior Researcher, Optimum Population Trust, Manchester, UK; S. I. Hay, Professor of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK; L. Levitan, Environmental Risk Analysis Program, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; P. Martens, Professor of Sustainable Development, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands; J.A.T. Morgan, Professor of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA; N. Myers, Oxford University, Oxford, UK; J. Patz, Global Environmental Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; J. Rappole, Smithsonian Conservation and Research Center, Front Royal, VA; M.E. Riley, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; S. Salmony, Chapel Hill, NC.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Pimentel
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. Cooperstein
    • 1
  • H. Randell
    • 1
  • D. Filiberto
    • 1
  • S. Sorrentino
    • 1
  • B. Kaye
    • 1
  • C. Nicklin
    • 1
  • J. Yagi
    • 1
  • J. Brian
    • 1
  • J. O’Hern
    • 1
  • A. Habas
    • 1
  • C. Weinstein
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Agriculture and Life SciencesCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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