Join Us! ACE 2015 Annual Meeting

Non-communicable diseases are responsible for the majority of deaths, yet the catastrophic outbreak of Ebola virus disease and the spread of Chikungunya and dengue fever in the Americas remind us that communicable diseases remain very much on the public health agenda. Meanwhile the global upsurge of violence and environmental catastrophes and continuing environmental degradation add to the burden on public health. Epidemiology has identified proximate determinants for many of these problems and also their relationships to underlying social determinants, including living conditions and access to health care.  What role can epidemiology play in addressing these systemic determinants of health? Identifying the interconnected causes of disease determinants is key to guiding these efforts. Data show increasingly that many states of health and disease are influenced by multiple factors acting at varying levels of an ecosocial framework.  Using a multi-level systems approach is essential to address the complex interactions of determinants, both for population-wide efforts and for focused approaches to address health disparities.  As we identify and learn more about the complex pathways in any disease process (and its ultimate burden), we must develop and implement new epidemiologic research and approaches that synthesize knowledge and insights from genetics, biology, psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, political science, environmental sciences, policy sciences, and modeling in order to address systemic determinants of health and disease more fully at local and global levels.