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Progress of Medical Geography and Environmental Health Studies

YANG Linsheng,LI Hairong,LI Yonghua,WANG Wuyi,TAN Jian'an (Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research,CAS,Commission on Medical Geography,the Geographical Society of China,Beijing 100101,China)  
Human health is one of the key issues either in geographical or environmental science studies in last years. The interested topics can be cataloged as follows:(1) Health issues from global environment change (GEC),including health threats of atmospheric composition change and land use/land cover changes,infectious diseases,food-producing system and health,and health impacts from urbanization. (2) Environmental health risk assessment,including health risks from environmental pollutants (either heavy metals or POPs in air,soil or water),ecological degeneration and natural/human induced hazards. (3) Social determinants of human health,especially health equity. (4) Aging issues,including the health/care demands of old population and their impacts on health/care system. (5) Medical geographical information system,including disease monitoring,modeling and health management. With the fast development of medical geography in China,Chinese scientists have not only engaged in international programme/project planning,but also taken some top position in international organization. The progress of medical geography research in China can be summarized as the following aspects:(1) Geography of endemic diseases is still the study emphasis; (2) The theory of environmental health risk assessment has been generally accepted and the health risk assessing technique of environmental pollution is gradually standardized; (3) The health impacts of global environmental changes on China's population have begun to attract more attention; (4) With rapid urbanization,environmental health problems in urban and rural areas receive universal recognition; (5) RS,GIS and models are adopted in the study of medical geography. Additionally,ageing and longevity issues,as well as the human dimensions on health,and public health risks assessment of disasters,will be the new research focus of medical geography in China.
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