Disease Prevention in the Age of Convergence - the Need for a Wider, Long Ranging and Collaborative Vision

    Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    It is time to bring our imagination, creativity and passion to the fore in solving the global challenges of our age. Our global health crisis and the pandemic of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) is clearly rooted in complex modern societal and environmental changes, many of which have effects on developing immune and metabolic responses. It is intimately related to wider environmental challenges. And it is unsurprising that many NCDs share similar risk factors and that many are associated with a rising predisposition for inflammation. Allergy is one of the earliest signs of environmental impact on these biological pathways, and may also offer an early barometer to assess the effects of early interventions. There is dawning awareness of how changing microbial diversity, nutritional patterns, sedentary indoor behaviours and modern pollutants adversely affect early metabolic and immune development, but still much to understand the complexity of these interactions. Even when we do harness the science and technology, these will not provide solutions unless we also address the wider social, cultural and economic determinants of health - addressing the interconnections between human health and the health of our environment. Now more than ever, we need a wider vision and a greater sense of collective responsibility. We need long-range approaches that aim for life long benefits of a 'healthier start to life', and stronger cross-sectoral collaborations to prevent disease. We need to give both our hearts and our minds to solving these global issues.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11-20
    Number of pages10
    JournalAllergology International
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


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