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The shape of the global causes of death.

Barford A, Dorling D - Int J Health Geogr (2007)

Bottom Line: Physicians and other health professionals often specialise in the specifics of causes, symptoms and effects.For some practitioners gaining a worldview of disease burden complements smaller scale medical knowledge of where and how people are affected by each condition.Ten cartograms based on World Health Organisation Burden of Disease data are introduced here; alongside seven based on data from other sources.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Social and Spatial Inequalities Group, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK. Anna.Barford@sheffield.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Background: World maps can provide an instant visual overview of the distribution of diseases and deaths.

Results: There is a particular geography to each type of death: in some places many thousands of deaths are caused by a particular condition, whilst other equally populous areas have few to no deaths from the same cause.

Conclusion: Physicians and other health professionals often specialise in the specifics of causes, symptoms and effects. For some practitioners gaining a worldview of disease burden complements smaller scale medical knowledge of where and how people are affected by each condition. Maps can make health related information much more accessible to planners and the general public than can tables, text, or even graphs. Ten cartograms based on World Health Organisation Burden of Disease data are introduced here; alongside seven based on data from other sources. The Burden of Disease cartograms are the latest in a much larger collection of social, economic and health world maps.

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Worldmapper Map 413: Vitamin A deficiency deaths in 2002.
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Figure 1: Worldmapper Map 413: Vitamin A deficiency deaths in 2002.

Mentions: The new form of mapping which has recently been applied to world data, including mortality data [12-14], makes maps using an algorithm based on the physics of heat transfer [15]. This algorithm allows the density of a variable to become equal everywhere on the map. For example, on a map of deaths attributed to Vitamin A deficiency, the relatively large area of Pakistan denotes the relatively large proportion of all such deaths in the world that occur there (Figure 1). Similarly, Brazil cannot be seen on this map because very few Vitamin A deficiency-related deaths are thought to occur there. This scaling of the area of each territory by the number of deaths there due to a particular cause is achieved whilst allowing coastlines and borders to expand, contract and crumple. Thus territories appear distorted yet recognisable, somewhat like a caricature of the world. Note too that here we do not consider geographical variations within territory boundaries. For illustrations of sub-national variations in a range of measures see the Gapminder website [16].


The shape of the global causes of death.

Barford A, Dorling D - Int J Health Geogr (2007)

Worldmapper Map 413: Vitamin A deficiency deaths in 2002.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2164951&req=5

Figure 1: Worldmapper Map 413: Vitamin A deficiency deaths in 2002.
Mentions: The new form of mapping which has recently been applied to world data, including mortality data [12-14], makes maps using an algorithm based on the physics of heat transfer [15]. This algorithm allows the density of a variable to become equal everywhere on the map. For example, on a map of deaths attributed to Vitamin A deficiency, the relatively large area of Pakistan denotes the relatively large proportion of all such deaths in the world that occur there (Figure 1). Similarly, Brazil cannot be seen on this map because very few Vitamin A deficiency-related deaths are thought to occur there. This scaling of the area of each territory by the number of deaths there due to a particular cause is achieved whilst allowing coastlines and borders to expand, contract and crumple. Thus territories appear distorted yet recognisable, somewhat like a caricature of the world. Note too that here we do not consider geographical variations within territory boundaries. For illustrations of sub-national variations in a range of measures see the Gapminder website [16].

Bottom Line: Physicians and other health professionals often specialise in the specifics of causes, symptoms and effects.For some practitioners gaining a worldview of disease burden complements smaller scale medical knowledge of where and how people are affected by each condition.Ten cartograms based on World Health Organisation Burden of Disease data are introduced here; alongside seven based on data from other sources.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Social and Spatial Inequalities Group, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK. Anna.Barford@sheffield.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Background: World maps can provide an instant visual overview of the distribution of diseases and deaths.

Results: There is a particular geography to each type of death: in some places many thousands of deaths are caused by a particular condition, whilst other equally populous areas have few to no deaths from the same cause.

Conclusion: Physicians and other health professionals often specialise in the specifics of causes, symptoms and effects. For some practitioners gaining a worldview of disease burden complements smaller scale medical knowledge of where and how people are affected by each condition. Maps can make health related information much more accessible to planners and the general public than can tables, text, or even graphs. Ten cartograms based on World Health Organisation Burden of Disease data are introduced here; alongside seven based on data from other sources. The Burden of Disease cartograms are the latest in a much larger collection of social, economic and health world maps.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus