What is the epidemiological transition model?

epidemiological transition model

Introduction

The epidemiological transition model is one of the theories of demography. This transition model describes fertility, life expectancy, leading causes of death, mortality. Below is a discussion of the Epidemiological transition model and its stages (1). Population growth rates vary from time and space. Fertility, life expectancy, and leading causes of death, mortality, etc. are determined by the rate of population growth.

Population refers to the total number of people living in a country. It is an element that is important for determining geographical boundaries. The dynamic rate of population growth in a country is determined by birth rate, death rate, and leading causes of death.

What is the epidemiological transition model?

Definition

The epidemiological transition model is a theory by which ideas about the pattern of mortality, leading causes of death, disease types in a population, high mortality rates in infants and children, life expectancy, etc. are obtained (2).

Features

1. This transition model discusses the changes in population age distribution, death rate, birth rate, causes of death, life expectancy, etc.

2. The concept of the epidemiological transition model is also referred to as “health transition” or “mortality transition”.

3. The epidemiological transition model has become popular among demographers.

4. This model assumes multiple levels of determinants that work complexly and interrelatedly.

5. There is a description of the changing pattern of population distribution in this model.

6. The model explains the complex change in the pattern of health (1).

Discoverer

The epidemiological transition model was first coined by Abdel Omran in 1971. Mortality rates have been changing all over the world with variations in timing and space. These changes have been referred to as the epidemiological transition model. The primary themes of this model include a decline in mortality, an increase in life expectancy, leading causes of mortality, and chronic diseases.

This is the new concept of demography. The epidemiological transition model is intended to provide a general overview of the concept, including historical and recent data from the United States and other countries to explain the basic concepts (1).

Stage

Each stage of this epidemiological transition model is having specific characters which are defined as below.

First stage

  • The main basis of this theory is that mortality is a fundamental factor in population dynamics.
  • Reducing mortality is usually followed by a decrease in the fertility rate.
  • It is a connection of lower mortality rate, lower birth rate, and higher life expectancy that creates the age distribution of the changing population.
  • The birth rate is higher than the death rate.
  • At this stage, a weak economic structure and a low rate of human development are seen.
  • The population of the country increases but it is a stable population.

Second stage

  • At the transition, long-term changes in mortality and disease patterns occur.
  • These include patterns of death and disease, as well as changes in age distribution.
  • Fluctuating mortality rates, variable life spans with low average life expectancy, and population growth are not sustainable.
  • One of the characteristics of this stage is high birth rate and low mortality.
  • Improving the supply of nutritious food and medicine.
  • Although the economy is mixed in type, the mainstay of the economy is agriculture.
  • The socio-economic status gradually increases.
  • Average lifespan continues to increase from about 30 to 50 years.
  • Population growth is stable and begins to be indicative.

Third stage

  • Birth rate is controlled.
  • The mortality rate is reduced as a result of improvements in medical science.
  • Increased per capita income and per capita production.
  • Economic conditions improved.
  • At this stage, fertility becomes an important factor in population growth.
  • The average life expectancy of a birth gradually increases until it exceeds 50 years.
  • In this stage, the size of the overpopulation continues to decline.
  • Population pressure on the economy continues to decrease.

In addition to these three stages, Barrett et al proposed two extra stages in 1998. Both of these stages describe changes in culture, lifestyle, and eating habits and the increase in the prevalence of geriatric diseases, etc.

Fourth stage

  • At this stage, technological advances in medicine have stopped mortality and birth rates.
  • The quality of life is improving.
  • Fertility rate and mortality rate are equal.
  • Improved socioeconomic status, improved nutrition and sanitation, improved health and reduce mortality.
  • Population pressure on the economy continues to decrease.

Fifth stage

  • The birth rate decreases as life expectancy are extended. This leads to an age-balanced population.
  • Socio-economic, racial, and gender inequalities tend to distinguish between death rate and birth rate.
  • The birth rate is completely controlled.
  • Financial condition is improving.
  • Sometimes the birth rate is lower than the mortality rate.

This theory uses the patterns of health as well as their demographic, economic, and sociological determinants. So it is a very important theory in geography as well as demography (2) & (3).

Q&A

1. Who created the epidemiological transition model?

In 1971, Abdel Omran has first created the epidemiological transition model.

2. What is the epidemiological transition model?

This is an important theory of population geography that explains the pattern of mortality, leading causes of death, disease types in a population, high mortality rates in infants and children, life expectancy, etc.

3. Who developed the epidemiological transition model?

The theory was developed by Abdel Omran in 1971.

4. What does the epidemiological transition model explain?

It is a model which describes the decline in mortality, an increase in life expectancy, leading cause of mortality, chronic diseases, and the complex change in the pattern of health, etc.

5. Most industrialized countries followed which model of the epidemiological transition?

Most industrialized countries of the developed world successfully followed the epidemiological transition “from infectious diseases to degenerative diseases”.

Written By: Manisha Bharati