Download Epidemiology and Culture by James A. Trostle PDF

By James A. Trostle

Demonstrating how practitioners within the rising box of ''cultural epidemiology'' describe human well-being, speak with assorted audiences, and interfere to enhance future health and stop sickness, this ebook makes use of textual and statistical graphics of ailment to explain interdisciplinary collaborations. reading epidemiology as a cultural perform is helping to bare the ways that dimension, causal pondering, and intervention layout are inspired via trust, behavior, and theories of energy.

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Epilepsy is the most common serious condition seen by neurologists. It is estimated to have an annual incidence of about 50 per 100,000 in industrialized countries and a prevalence of about 5 to 6 per 1,000 (Hauser and Kurland 1975). The lifetime risk of any individual having a seizure is about 5%. For physicians, epilepsy is a brain disorder characterized by recurrent seizures caused by abnormal electrical activity (uncoordinated electrical discharges) in the brain. From a clinical point of view, epilepsy is the name for a group of disorders characterized by recurrent seizures, which can manifest as jerking motions of particular limbs, sensations and thoughts, or convulsions of the whole body.

Fully one-third of the 89 people I interviewed in Kenya bore large keloid scars from such burns, further stigmatizing them. Some thought epilepsy was a form of supernatural punishment for their misdeeds. Strikingly, few people with epilepsy in Kenya identified epilepsy as something involving the brain: 71% of interviewees said their seizures were originally caused by malaria, 13% said they were caused by pneumonia, and only 13% called it epilepsy. The narratives of people from Ecuador and Kenya reflect quite different strategies of understanding where their seizures came from and how they should be managed from those of the Minnesotans.

Physicians (and especially neurologists) also have a stake in the definition of epilepsy. ” But in some respects they serve the government in a set of surveillance and assessment functions that extend beyond counting for public health purposes. For example, they establish the severity of a case and whether it poses limits to safe driving or work capacity. They also help to determine eligibility for government disability payments. Because the treatment for epilepsy has specific and sometimes deleterious side effects, physicians determine who must continue to be treated and for how long.

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