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The number of biological organisms in a given defined environment is a population. In the case of the 7 billion human population effectively confined as of 2011 to a small part of a biosphere on the planet earth this raises the issue of population control which is the greatest public health issue of the moment and may not be addressed before Malthusian solutions cause a great die back.


Population modelling

It is often assumed that the mathematical modelling of population change on the planet and at the country has been developed to a pretty accurate degree. In the case of official British population projections at least, this is far from the case[1]

Population approaches to health

"Public health" is about the maintenance and improvement of health across the population. The terms "Population Health" and "Population Health Management" are sometimes used.[2][3][4]

Definitions of "Population Health" and "Population Health Management"

QuotationMarkLeft.png Everyone and their dog, and their dog’s dad is trying to define “population health” at the moment, hence my previous blogs on it attempting to set out my own views. QuotationMarkRight.pngGreg Fell, Sheffield DPH

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The following definitions of these terms were agreed by Public Health England and NHS England[5] - but the definitions are likely to be applicable elsewhere.

Population Health is an approach aimed at improving the health of an entire population. It is about improving the physical and mental health outcomes and wellbeing of people, whilst reducing health inequalities within and across a defined population. It includes action to reduce the occurrence of ill-health, including addressing wider determinants of health, and requires working with communities and partner agencies.
Population Health Management improves population health by data driven planning and proactive delivery of care to achieve maximum impact. It includes segmentation, stratification and impactability [sic] modelling to identify local 'at risk' cohorts - and, in turn, designing and targeting interventions to prevent ill-health and to improve care and support for people with ongoing health conditions and reducing unwarranted variations in outcomes.

The concept of population health management has been criticised for over-medicalising issues which are more socioeconomic, rather than tackling "upstream" factors.[6]