Megaurbanisation and Public Health Research: Theoretical Dimensions

  • Heiko J. Jahn
  • Md. Mobarak Hossain Khan
  • Alexander Krämer
Part of the Contributions to Statistics book series (CONTRIB.STAT.)


Human health is a complex phenomenon influenced by socioeconomic, demographic, psychological, genetic, social, behavioural and environmental factors. Human health in megacities and urban areas is even more complex. Megacities in developing and transitional countries (e.g. in China) experience fast urbanisation processes due to continuing rural-to-urban migration (Ping and Pieke 2003; Tunon 2006; Wong et al. 2007). For instance, an estimated number of 150 million Chinese working migrants moved to cities from rural areas to find new opportunities (Tunon 2006). The migrant population is particularly affected by difficult living conditions because they mostly suffer from low socioeconomic status and experience restricted access to health care and education (Li et al. 2006). They often pay higher health costs as compared to non-migrants (Zheng and Lian 2006) and are more frequently exposed to low-standard living and working conditions (Ping and Pieke 2003; Zheng and Lian 2006). These living conditions often coined by poor hygiene and crowded living space increasing the risk for infectious diseases (Zheng and Lian 2006). Besides the somatic health risks, migrants are also threatened by psychological diseases and symptoms. For instance, Wong et al. found in their study on mental health among Chinese migrant workers that about 25% of their male participants could be classified as mentally unhealthy (Wong et al. 2008:486).


Public Health Research Transitional Country Public Health Expert Resilience Process Stable Population Size 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the German Research Foundation for funding this research. We are grateful to our colleagues, Mrs. Prof. Dr. Li LING, Mrs. Lu HAN and Mrs. Yinghua XIA, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, which performed the interviews and supported us in designing the questionnaire and during the project coordination. Special thanks are given to our friend Mr. Fei FANG, PhD candidate at the School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, who continuously supported us by social and practical support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heiko J. Jahn
    • 1
  • Md. Mobarak Hossain Khan
    • 1
  • Alexander Krämer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Health Medicine, School of Public HealthBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

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