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Health matters. A concern with our health and well-being crosses national, partisan, and ideological divides. In many ways, we are living in a world that is much healthier than at any previous time in human history. And yet, our health achievements leave much to be desired. Although life expectancy has increased overall, billions of people continue to die prematurely and substantial healthy life years are lost worldwide due to death or disability. Our collective health achievement is marred by tremendous gaps, with global life expectancy ranging from a high of 83 in Japan to a low of 47 in Malawi. The United States has worse metrics than nearly all other high-income countries even as the country spends far more on health than any other country worldwide. These successes, and failures, are all the remit of public health. Healthier is concerned with the social, cultural, economic, and political conditions that shape the health of populations. With the living conditions, educational status, safe water and sanitation, availability of nutrient-rich food, stable housing and shelter, violence and injury that generate health, that create social divides that become health divides. The book offers, provocatively, that we will continue to fall short on health achievement unless we tend to the challenges that characterize our shared context and seize the opportunities they represent for us to create a healthier world. Healthier was published by Oxford University Press in July 2017. Clifton Leaf, Editor-in-Chief of Fortune, has called it “The book everyone interested in health should read.” Julio Frenk, former Health Minister of Mexico, has called it “An intellectual feat.”
About the Author
Sandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH, a physician and an epidemiologist, is dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. He previously held academic and leadership positions at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and The New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Galea is a leading voice in the emerging field of population health science. He has published more than 700 scientific journal articles, 50 chapters, and 13 books, and his research has been featured extensively in current periodicals and newspapers. Galea holds a medical degree from the University of Toronto and graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University. He also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow. Galea was named one of Time magazine’s epidemiology innovators, and has been listed by Thomson Reuters as one of the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds”. He is past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Epidemiological Society. Galea has received several lifetime achievement awards for his research, including the Rema Lapouse Award from the American Public Health Association and the Robert S. Laufer, PhD, Memorial Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He is a regular contributor to Fortune magazine and has published widely in the lay press, including the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, the Boston Globe, and The New York Times. His research has been cited by these publications as well as BBC, Slate, WBUR, and NPR, among others.