Building on the success of their groundbreaking anthology Evolutionary Medicine (OUP, 1999), Wenda R. Trevathan, E. O. Smith, and James J. McKenna provide an up-to-date and thought-provoking introduction to the field with this new collection of essays. Ideal for courses in evolutionary medicine, medical anthropology, and the evolution of human disease, Evolutionary Medicine and Health: New Perspectives presents twenty-three original articles that examine how human evolution relates to a broad range of contemporary health problems including infectious, chronic, nutritional, and mental diseases and disorders. Topics covered include disease susceptibility in cultural context, substance abuse and addiction, sleep disorders, preeclampsia, altitude-related hypoxia, the biological context of menstruation, and the role of stress in modern life. An international team of preeminent scholars in biological anthropology, medicine, biology, psychology, and geography contributed the selections.
Together they represent a uniquely integrative and multidisciplinary approach that takes into account the dialogue between biology and culture as it relates to understanding, treating, and preventing disease. A common theme throughout is the description of cases in which biological human development conflicts with culturally based individual behaviors that determine health outcomes. Detailed, evidence-based arguments make the case that all aspects of the human condition covered in the volume have an evolutionary basis, while theoretical discussions using other empirical evidence critique the gaps that still remain in evolutionary approaches to health. Evolutionary Medicine and Health: New Perspectives features an introductory overview that covers the field's diverse array of topics, questions, lines of evidence, and perspectives. In addition, the editors provide introductions to each essay and an extensive bibliography that represents a state-of-the-art survey of the literature. A companion website at www.oup.com/us/evolmed offers a full bibliography and links to source articles, reports, and databases.
Written in an engaging style that is accessible to students, professionals, and general readers, this book offers a unique look at how an evolutionary perspective has become increasingly relevant to the health field and medical practice.