Table of Contents: Blue Marble Health: the mismatch between national wealth and population health


Image Credit: PLOS / fdecomite, Flickr
Issue Image

Socioeconomic disparities caused by income, ethnicity and relative poverty constitute a major and growing determinant of health to at-risk populations regardless of the average income of their country of residence.

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) found among poor people in wealthy countries contribute substantially to health disparities, and exhibit many of the same features as NTDs observed predominantly in lower-income countries including their chronicity and adverse impact on child development and pregnancy outcomes. At the same time, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and coronary artery disease, once perceived as the scourges of wealthy countries, urgently require action as increasingly prevalent causes of illness and death in lower- and middle-income countries. Whether conducted in high, middle, or low-income countries, research on diseases that disproportionately affect poorer people is increasingly relevant.

"Blue marble health" is a recent concept that recognizes a paradoxical disease burden – particularly the burden of NTDs – among poor people living in G20 and other wealthier countries, requiring these nations to take greater ownership for both disease control and research and development into NTDs.

At PLOS, we encourage the submission of papers that address health problems among vulnerable, underserved, and disadvantaged populations in high- as well as lower-income countries.


An Unfolding Tragedy of Chagas Disease in North America

Peter J. Hotez, Eric Dumonteil, Miguel Betancourt Cravioto, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Roberto Tapia-Conyer, Sheba Meymandi, Unni Karunakara, Isabela Ribeiro, Rachel M. Cohen, Bernard Pecoul

Texas and Mexico: Sharing a Legacy of Poverty and Neglected Tropical Diseases

Peter J. Hotez, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Eric Dumonteil, Jesus G. Valenzuela, Shaden Kamhawi, Jaime Ortega, Samuel Ponce de Leon Rosales, Miguel Betancourt Cravioto, Roberto Tapia-Conyer

Ears of the Armadillo: Global Health Research and Neglected Diseases in Texas

Jon Andrus, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Jennifer Chow, Karen A. Goraleski, Susan P. Fisher-Hoch, Jocelyn K. Lambuth, Bruce Y. Lee, Harold S. Margolis, Joseph B. McCormick, Peter Melby, Kristy O. Murray, Rebeca Rico-Hesse, Jesus G. Valenzuela, Peter J. Hotez


The Gulf Coast: A New American Underbelly of Tropical Diseases and Poverty

Peter J. Hotez, Kristy O. Murray, Pierre Buekens

Geographical Limits of the Southeastern Distribution of Aedes aegypti (Diptera, Culicidae) in Argentina

Leonardo M. Díaz-Nieto, Arnaldo Maciá, M. Alejandra Perotti, Corina M. Berón


Poverty, Disease, and the Ecology of Complex Systems

Calistus N. Ngonghala, Mateusz M. Pluciński, Megan B. Murray, Paul E. Farmer, Christopher B. Barrett, Donald C. Keenan, Matthew H. Bonds

Policy Forum

Research Articles

Household-Level Expenditure on Protective Measures Against Mosquitoes on the Island of La Réunion, France

Josselin Thuilliez, Claire Bellia, Jean-Sébastien Dehecq, Olivier Reilhes

Relative Risk of Visceral Leishmaniasis in Brazil: A Spatial Analysis in Urban Area

Valdelaine Etelvina Miranda de Araújo, Letícia Cavalari Pinheiro, Maria Cristina de Mattos Almeida, Fernanda Carvalho de Menezes, Maria Helena Franco Morais, Ilka Afonso Reis, Renato Martins Assunção, Mariângela Carneiro

Barriers to Treatment Access for Chagas Disease in Mexico

Jennifer M. Manne, Callae S. Snively, Janine M. Ramsey, Marco Ocampo Salgado, Till Bärnighausen, Michael R. Reich

Patterns of Migration and Risks Associated with Leprosy among Migrants in Maranhão, Brazil

Christine Murto, Frédérique Chammartin, Karolin Schwarz, Lea Marcia Melo da Costa, Charles Kaplan, Jorg Heukelbach

Association of Lifecourse Socioeconomic Status with Chronic Inflammation and Type 2 Diabetes Risk: The Whitehall II Prospective Cohort Study

Silvia Stringhini, G. David Batty, Pascal Bovet, Martin J. Shipley, Michael G. Marmot, Meena Kumari, Adam G. Tabak, Mika Kivimäki

Socioeconomic Inequalities in Lung Cancer Treatment: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Lynne F. Forrest, Jean Adams, Helen Wareham, Greg Rubin, Martin White

Heterogeneity of Environments Associated with Transmission of Visceral Leishmaniasis in South-Eastern France and Implication for Control Strategies

Benoit Faucher, Jean Gaudart, Francoise Faraut, Christelle Pomares, Charles Mary, Pierre Marty, Renaud Piarroux

Analysing Recent Socioeconomic Trends in Coronary Heart Disease Mortality in England, 2000–2007: A Population Modelling Study

Madhavi Bajekal, Shaun Scholes, Hande Love, Nathaniel Hawkins, Martin O'Flaherty, Rosalind Raine, Simon Capewell

Estimating the Non-Monetary Burden of Neurocysticercosis in Mexico

Rachana Bhattarai, Christine M. Budke, Hélène Carabin, Jefferson V. Proaño, Jose Flores-Rivera, Teresa Corona, Renata Ivanek, Karen F. Snowden, Ana Flisser

Health Behaviours, Socioeconomic Status, and Mortality: Further Analyses of the British Whitehall II and the French GAZEL Prospective Cohorts

Silvia Stringhini, Aline Dugravot, Martin Shipley, Marcel Goldberg, Marie Zins, Mika Kivimäki, Michael Marmot, Séverine Sabia, Archana Singh-Manoux