This book is an introduction to public health as a discipline and a critique of its recent development. Identifying poverty as the greatest continuing threat to health worldwide, the authors, both of them prominent public health authorities, review epidemiological, demographic and public health trends internationally, and argue that the prospects for public health will improve only if health in a broad sense becomes a central concern of the policy-making process. This extensively revised edition reviews major health trends, the current state of the world's health, and the latest estimates of the global burden of disease. With examples drawn widely from rich and poor countries, the authors argue for an inclusive vision of public health based on the application in public policy of improved epidemiological understanding of the causes of disease. Of interest to all health professionals, it will be essential reading for those in public health and related fields.