Syndemics framework as an approach to explain the interaction between public health problems

Keywords: Syndemic, public health, proof of concept study, methods

Abstract

The syndemics theory provides an innovative framework that allows to understand why some public health problems are geographically and temporarily concentrated?, and how these problems interact biologically and socially?, generating harmful effects on vulnerable groups. However, the empirical evidence that supports this theory is still scarce and the existing has certain limitations in the approach and measurement of key concepts. For this reason, this article aims to generate a discussion about some conceptual and methodological implications of the use of syndemics theory. The correct approach to syndemics theory allows directing future research on this topic and promotes its importance for the study of health problems in the Latin American context.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Silvia Quiroz Mena, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia

Doctoranda en Epidemiología por la Universidad de Antioquia (UdeA), Medellín, Colombia.

Wilson Cañon Montañez, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia

Doctor en Epidemiología por la Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS); profesor asociado de la Universidad de Antioquia (UdeA). Medellín, Colombia.

References

Mendenhall E. Syndemics: a new path for global health research. Lancet. 2017; 389(10072):889–91. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(17)30602-5

Singer M, Bulled N, Ostrach B, Mendenhall E. Syndemics and the biosocial conception of health. Lancet. 2017; 389(10072):941–50. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30003-X

Singer M. Introduction to Syndemics: a Critical Systems Approach to Public and Community Health. 1st ed. San Francisco (CA): Jossey-Bass; 2009.

Nikiphorou E, Lempp H, Kohrt BA. Treatment failure in inflammatory arthritis: Time to think about syndemics? Rheumatol (Oxford). 2019; 58(9):1526–33. https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kez222

Stall R, Coulter RWS, Friedman MR, Plankey MW. Commentary on “Syndemics of psychosocial problems and HIV risk: A systematic review of empirical tests of the disease interaction concept” by A. Tsai and B. Burns. Soc Sci Med. 2015; 145:129–31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.07.016

Singer M. A dose of drugs, a touch of violence, a case of AIDS: conceptualizing the SAVA Syndemic. Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology. 1996; 24(2):99–110.

Tsai AC, Mendenhall E, Trostle JA, Kawachi I. Co-occurring epidemics, syndemics, and population health. Lancet. 2017;389(10072):978–82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30403-8

NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC). Worldwide trends in blood pressure from 1975 to 2015: a pooled analysis of 1479 population-based measurement studies with 19·1 million participants. Lancet. 2017; 389(10064):37-55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31919-5

Organización Mundial de la Salud. Informe mundial sobre el paludismo 2018. 2018; Disponible en: https://www.who.int/malaria/media/world-malaria-report-2018/es/#La carga de malaria global y regional en números

Eze IC, Bassa FK, Essé C, Koné S, Acka F, Laubhouet-Koffi V, et al. Epidemiological links between malaria parasitaemia and hypertension: findings from a population-based survey in rural Côte d’Ivoire. J Hypertens. 2019; 37(7):1384-92. https://dx.doi.org/10.1097%2FHJH.0000000000002071

Etyang AO, Smeeth L, Cruickshank JK, Scott JAG. The malaria-high blood pressure hypothesis. Circ Res. 2016; 119(1):36–40. https://doi.org/10.1161/circresaha.116.308763

Gallego-Delgado J, Rodriguez A. Malaria and hypertension. Another co-evolutionary adaptation? Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2014;4:121. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2014.00121

Gallego-Delgado J, Walther T, Rodriguez A. The High Blood Pressure-Malaria Protection Hypothesis. Circ Res. 2016;119(10):1071–5. https://doi.org/10.1161/circresaha.116.309602

Hernán MA, Robins JM. Causal Inference: What If. Boca Raton: Chapman & Hall/CRC, forthcoming; 2020.

Phelan JC, Link BG, Tehranifar P. Social Conditions as Fundamental Causes of Health Inequalities: Theory, Evidence, and Policy Implications. J Health Soc Behav. 2010; 51(Suppl):S28–40. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022146510383498

Cañon-Montañez W, Rodríguez-Acelas AL. Use of Causal Diagrams for Nursing Research: a Tool for Application in Epidemiological Studies. Invest Educ Enferm. 2019;37(1):e01. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.iee.v37n1e01

Organización Panamericana de la Salud. Indicadores básicos 2019: Tendencias de la salud en las Américas 2019; https://iris.paho.org/bitstream/handle/10665.2/51543/9789275321287_spa.pdf?sequence=7n

Poteat T, Millett G, Nelson LE, Beyrer C. Understanding COVID-19 risks and vulnerabilities among black communities in America: the lethal force of syndemics. Ann Epidemiol. 2020; 47:1-3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.05.004

Published
2021-02-25
How to Cite
Quiroz Mena, S., & Cañon Montañez, W. (2021). Syndemics framework as an approach to explain the interaction between public health problems. Scientia Medica, 31(1), e38309. https://doi.org/10.15448/1980-6108.2021.1.38309
Section
Education in Health Sciences