Health Disparities and the Ancestral Environment: An Evolutionary Perspective

Health Disparities and the Ancestral Environment: An Evolutionary Perspective

This book makes the case that disparities in health outcomes affecting people of West Central African descent in the United States (African Americans) are due, in large part, to evolutionary physiological adaptations to potentially lethal infectious organisms in the ancestral environment of sub-Saharan Africa, in particular Plasmodium falciparum, coupled with exposures unique to the environment of North America. According to the proposed theory, inherited characteristics acquired over millennia from adaptations to endemic tropical organisms helped to increase survivability in the original African environment. However, in the different natural and dietary environment of North America, these adaptations render people of West Central African descent susceptible to the same chronic diseases that affect other Americans. The theory has implications for disease treatment and for overall health and longevity.

Anthony Mawson, DrPH, MPH, MA, is an epidemiologist and social scientist. He was a professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, Jackson State University, a historically black college and university in America (HBCU). There, he served as Director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Services Research and as Principal Investigator of the Center of Excellence in Minority Health. He was also a professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, serving as principal investigator of the National Children’s Study for Mississippi. He attended McGill University (Canada), the University of Essex (UK), the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK), and Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (USA), where he obtained his MPH and DrPH degrees in epidemiology.

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ISBN: 1-5275-1466-8

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-1466-9

Release Date: 1st August 2023

Pages: 181

Price: £66.99