La transicion epidemiologica en America Latina

Translated title of the contribution: The epidemiological transition in Latin America

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


The concept of health transition is considered to include two interrelated processes: transition of health care and epidemiological transition. The latter encompasses three basic processes: replacement of the common infectious diseases by non-communicable diseases and injuries as the leading causes of death; a shift in peak morbidity and mortality from the young to the elderly; and change from a situation in which mortality predominates in the epidemiological panorama to one in which morbidity is dominant. Latin America is characterised by a heterogeneous health profile in which different countries are in various stages of epidemiological transition. However in most of them the transition experience is unlike that of the developed countries and is distinguished by: a simultaneous high incidence of diseases from both the pre- and post-transitional stages; a resurgence of some infectious diseases that had previously been under control; a lack of resolution of the transition process, so that the countries appear to be caught in a state of mixed morbidity; and a peculiar epidemiological polarisation, not only between countries but also in the different geographical areas and between the various social classes of a single country. This experience is called a "prolonged polarised model'. -English summary

Translated title of the contributionThe epidemiological transition in Latin America
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)485-496
Number of pages12
JournalBoletin - Oficina Sanitaria Panamericana
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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