EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The contribution of urbanization to non-communicable diseases: Evidence from 173 countries from 1980 to 2008

Yevgeniy Goryakin, Lorenzo Rocco () and Marc Suhrcke

Economics & Human Biology, 2017, vol. 26, issue C, 151-163

Abstract: It is widely believed that the expanding burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is in no small part the result of major macro-level determinants. We use a large amount of new data, to explore in particular the role played by urbanization – the process of the population shifting from rural to urban areas within countries – in affecting four important drivers of NCDs world-wide: diabetes prevalence, as well as average body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol level and systolic blood pressure. Urbanization is seen by many as a double-edged sword: while its beneficial economic effects are widely acknowledged, it is commonly alleged to produce adverse side effects for NCD-related health outcomes. In this paper we submit this hypothesis to extensive empirical scrutiny, covering a global set of countries from 1980–2008, and applying a range of estimation procedures. Our results indicate that urbanization appears to have contributed to an increase in average BMI and cholesterol levels: the implied difference in average total cholesterol between the most and the least urbanized countries is 0.40mmol/L, while people living in the least urbanized countries are also expected to have an up to 2.3kg/m2 lower BMI than in the most urbanized ones. Moreover, the least urbanized countries are expected to have an up to 3.2p.p. lower prevalence of diabetes among women. This association is also much stronger in the low and middle-income countries, and is likely to be mediated by energy intake-related variables, such as calorie and fat supply per capita.

Keywords: Non-communicable diseases; Hypertension; Cholesterol; Diabetes; BMI; Urbanization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X17300497
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:26:y:2017:i:c:p:151-163

Access Statistics for this article

Economics & Human Biology is currently edited by J. Komlos, Inas R Kelly and Joerg Baten

More articles in Economics & Human Biology from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

 
Page updated 2019-08-20
Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:26:y:2017:i:c:p:151-163