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World Health Day: Building a Fairer, Healthier World
Every year, April 7th marks the celebration of World Health Day. World Health Day is an annual United Nations Observance focusing on the importance of health issues such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change impacts on public health. The celebration is marked by activities that extend beyond the day itself and serves as an opportunity to focus worldwide attention on these important aspects of global health. From its inception at the First Health Assembly in 1948 and since taking effect in 1950, the observance has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization (WHO).
This year’s theme, “Building a Fairer, Healthier World,” calls for action to eliminate health inequities as part of a year-long global campaign to bring people together to build a fairer, healthier world. The campaign highlights WHO’s constitutional principle that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”
The world is still an unequal one. For the first time in 20 years, global poverty levels are predicted to rise and hinder progress of the SDGs¹. The places where we live, work, and play may make it harder for some to reach their full health potential, while others thrive. Health inequities are not only unjust and unfair, but they also threaten the advances made to date, and have the potential to widen rather than narrow equity gaps.
However, health inequities are preventable with strategies that place greater attention on improving health equity, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized groups. COVID-19 has hit all countries hard, but its impact has been harshest on those communities which were already vulnerable, those who are more exposed to the disease, those less likely to have access to quality health care services, and those more likely to experience adverse consequences as a result of measures implemented to contain the pandemic.
To recognize, highlight, and raise awareness on the health inequities, Elsevier presents a curated list of free access journal articles and book chapters. At Elsevier, we are advancing #SDG3 research and ensuring #HealthandWellbeing for all.
Click here to access the complete special issue collection.
Featured Book Chapters Include:
Investigators may often suspect that genetic variants enhance the risk of a cancer, but rarely they can use them to predict a truly high cancer risk. When scientists first recognized that a single kind of cancer tended to cluster in the members of a family, methods were devised to zero in on the specific determinants, in the hope that the investigation would result in specific forms of protection. Often the first step was to compare relatives of cases in general to relatives of similar healthy persons, giving an idea of the importance of the family connection.
Diabetes Digital Health
Chapter 11 – “Socioeconomic factors: access to and use of diabetes technologies”
By Samantha A. Barry Menkhaus, David V. Wagner, Maggie Stoeckel, and Michael A. Harris
This chapter addresses digital health interventions, including access to and use of these interventions by people of lower SES (P-LSES). In most cases, as technologies have progressed, they have become increasingly promising in their potential to meet the distinct needs of this high-risk group; however, it is largely unclear at this time whether these technologies are effective tools for P-LSES with diabetes, as research specific to this group has been limited. Future research must focus on digital technologies that are both purposefully designed for and thoughtfully delivered to individuals of lower SES; otherwise, technologies may further increase already existing disparities in diabetes outcomes across socioeconomic groups.
Obesity is a significant health problem, especially among the people living in developed countries, which also has detrimental effects on the male urogenital system. Obesity is a constellation of clinical factors associated with an increased risk of incident cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. It is also associated with increased risks of the following urological conditions: lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH/LUTS), erectile dysfunction, hypogonadism, infertility, and prostate cancer. Weight loss improves erectile function, BPH/LUTS, hypogonadism, and infertility in obese men. Further studies are required before weight loss can be recommended for obese men with prostate cancer. This chapter will be summarizing the impact of obesity on men’s health.
This chapter addresses the challenges of promoting personal and population health from the different vantage points of biomedical, biopsychosocial, and social ecological models. Over the past century, biomedical theories of illness (e.g., the germ theory) have been subsumed by broader transdisciplinary conceptions of illness, disease prevention, and health promotion. Social ecology incorporates biological, psychological, and sociocultural determinants of health, as well as physical environmental health threats such as air and water pollution, ultraviolet radiation, global warming, and urban stressors such as noise and overcrowding. People’s access to restorative natural settings, well-designed neighborhoods and homes, on the other hand, are environmental resources that enhance well-being. Several studies suggest that community rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, substance abuse, and unintentional injuries can be better understood and more effectively reduced through social ecological approaches. The chapter also considers digital health innovations such as telemedicine and online health care, wearable and wireless biometric devices, and analyses of very large data sets to track personal and population risk factors for disease.
Poverty affected an estimated 902 million people (12.8%) globally in 2012 based upon the international poverty line, established by the World Bank. An association between poverty, or low income, and chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been established worldwide. Poverty has also been associated with important precursors and risk factors for CKD and these relationships vary across sociodemographic groups, including those separated by geographic location, race, or ethnicity. Provided in this chapter, is a summary of recent studies of the relation of poverty to CKD and related outcomes. The potential causal linkages between poverty and CKD are vast, and include, limited access to healthful foods, increased psychosocial stress and limited access to health care. Thus, these perhaps more directly biologically putative consequences of poverty are also discussed as potential risk factors for CKD.
The scope of life sciences is as vast as the variety of life on Earth: mathematical biology, developmental biology, molecular and cell biology, parasitology and virology, microbiology and immunology — the list goes on. Elsevier, through its renowned imprints like Academic Press, provides high-quality content in all of these areas that supports learning, teaching, and research. Our books, eBooks, journals, and online tools are cross-disciplinary, allowing academics and professionals to effectively learn about science outside their areas of focus.