Diseases of Poverty

Epidemiology, Infectious Diseases, and Modern Plagues

Lisa V. Adams, John R. Butterly

Only a few decades ago, we were ready to declare victory over infectious diseases. Today, infectious diseases are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality throughout the world.

This book examines the epidemiology and social impact of past and present infectious disease epidemics in the developing and developed world. In the introduction, the authors define global health as a discipline, justify its critical importance in the modern era, and introduce the Millennium Development Goals, which have become critical targets for most of the developing world. The first half of the volume provides an epidemiological overview, exploring early and contemporary perspectives on disease and disease control. An analysis of nutrition, water, and sanitation anchors the discussion of basic human needs. Specific diseases representing both “loud” and “silent” emergencies are investigated within broader structures of ecological and biological health such as economics, education, state infrastructure, culture, and personal liberty. The authors also examine antibiotic resistance, AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and pandemic influenza, and offer an epilogue on diseases of affluence, which now threaten citizens of countries both rich and poor.

A readable guide to specific diseases, richly contextualized in environment and geography, this book will be used by health professionals in all disciplines interested in global health and its history and as a textbook in university courses on global health.

Cover Image of Diseases of Poverty: Epidemiology
Paper: $29.95 | E-book: $24.99
ISBN-13: 9781611687521
Pages: 232 | Size: 5.5 in. x 8.5 in.
Date Published: March 22, 2015


  • Undergraduate and graduate students in public health and medicine, health care professionals, and other individuals with an interest in global health will benefit from reading this book. The work is appropriate for an undergraduate or graduate-level course in global public health. The content is sufficient to generate discussion and pique interest in learning more about global health concerns. . . . Recommended.

  • I know of no other book with the same level of comprehensiveness and technical focus on infectious disease in the context of global health.

    Calvin Wilson
    University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine

About the Author

LISA V. ADAMS is associate professor of medicine, associate professor of community and family medicine, and associate dean for global health at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. JOHN R. BUTTERLY is professor of medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Practice, and executive medical director, External Affairs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health.

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