8: No. 1, January 2011
Editors: Patrick L. Remington, Ross C. Brownson,
Mark V. Wegner
Publisher: APHA Press
Publication Date: January 2010
Suggested citation for this article: Torres KY. Chronic disease
epidemiology and control, 3rd edition [book review]. Prev Chronic Dis
2011;8(1):A25. http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2011/jan/10_0232.htm. Accessed [date].
The third edition of Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Control presents
an updated compendium of contributions from a diverse group of public health
professionals with expertise in chronic disease causation, prevention, and
intervention. The book targets varied readers, from those in academia to those
in public health practice. It provides a well-organized overview of the life
course of major chronic diseases. Matthew McKenna and Janet Collins set the foundation for the
importance of the topic by stressing that “the course of a chronic disease can
be viewed as a continuum from the ‘upstream’ social and environmental
determinants, to behavioral risk factors, chronic conditions, chronic diseases,
and, finally, impairment, disability and ultimately death.”
The overview discusses social determinants leading to risk factors for
chronic conditions. The book is divided into 4 sections that help guide the
reader through the chronic disease continuum: public health approaches, selected
chronic disease risk factors, major chronic conditions, and major
chronic diseases. Each section offers an objective and neutral discussion of
featured topics. Public health approaches, for example, deal with issues and challenges in chronic disease control, epidemiologic methods,
interventions, and surveillance. The authors comprehensively cover current
knowledge, evidence-based best practices, and suggestions for future research
related to the evolution of major chronic diseases.
The book’s intended audience is most likely familiar with the subject matter.
Some chronic disease experts may feel that this is all familiar terrain because
the discussion centers on the more widespread risk factors and conditions.
However, the strength of the book is its organization and layout. The editors
and contributing writers have provided an efficiently organized and comprehensive
overview of the most salient chronic disease issues, making for easy reading.
Each section stands alone but flows to the next coherently; the reader is barely
aware that the chapters of each section are written by different people.
The intrinsic value of this thoughtful and up-to-date collection is its
usefulness as a reference for readers who are navigating the nuances of chronic
diseases issues. As a member of the target audience, I gained a better
understanding of the life course trajectory of major chronic diseases and
was reminded of the well-known but often forgotten notion that chronic diseases are
preventable rather than inevitable.
Keila Y. Torres, JD, RN
Doctoral Nursing Student