The Epidemiologic Transition

  • Suchit Arora
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 12)


Cohorts of children brought up in the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century likely faced very high rates of infectious diseases, and their average stature turned out poor by modern standards, even falling for a series of cohorts. Coinciding with infectious diseases and their frequent epidemics then were severe rates of non-communicable diseases that trended up population-wide over the second half of the nineteenth century. As infectious diseases were contained, a prolonged transition ensued in which non-communicable diseases began shrinking, trending down over the long-term in the twentieth century, even as the population aged more than ever before. This last feature is paradoxical: since non-communicable diseases climb with age, an increasingly aging population means that the rates of such diseases should have grown, but just the reverse occurred.


Aging Epidemiologic transition Malthusian regime of ‘pestilence and famine’ Average stature Infectious diseases Epidemics Pandemics The age of delayed degenerative disease Public health infrastructure Non-communicable diseases International Classification of Diseases (ICD) The paradox of aging 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suchit Arora
    • 1
  1. 1.State Teachers Retirement System of OhioColumbusUSA

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