This article has twin objectives: First, the article briefly examines major theoretical interpretations of disease causations in Western medicine, their limitations in understanding social epidemiology, and the gradual development of the population health approach to health promotion and disease prevention in the context of chronic diseases in Western industrialized societies. Second, the article examines the current epidemiological trends in China and the relevance of population health perspectives and strategies to promote health. While analyzing some recent findings on social determinants of health in China, the article argues that effective population health strategies for health promotion must be based on a social epidemiology that provides information necessary to promote health. Although infectious diseases still make a significant contribution to China’s mortality and morbidity figures, the incidence of chronic diseases such as malignancies, heart disease, respiratory disease, and cerebrovascular disease is steadily increasing. Finally, in view of the current epidemiological trend, and the need to tackle the multiple health challenges, this discursive analysis proposes a number of key research areas within the broader context of social epidemiology that may facilitate future health policies in China.
Illness, Crisis & Loss – SAGE
Published: Jul 1, 2018