Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing

Health, illness and cancer in Reunion Island: Health services in a diverse but aging French territory.

Hagege M, Chirpaz E, Khettab M Bull Cancer. 2022;109(2):226-231.

The major social, cultural, economic and demographic changes in Reunion Island in the last 70 years have had effects on its population and the evolution of its public health issues. The demographic transition and changes in lifestyle have led to a rapidly aging population with increased needs for care for dependency and chronic illness such as cancers. The aim of this paper is to offer a review of the literature and ongoing research on health and cancer in Reunion Island. It reviews the recent literature on these changes, including the socio-demography of the population, the medical demography and cancer care infrastructure. It highlights the significant social inequalities of the island, and shows its medical demography and healthcare services are close to national averages. It then offers a review of publications on the experiences of health and illness in Reunion Island in a multicultural and postcolonial context, between medical pluralism and biomedicine. It then offers a focus on the epidemiology of three cancers, namely breast, cervical and prostate cancers. It concludes with a review of known ongoing research, and calls for a rapid adaptation of the organization of the medico-social system, in order to face Reunion Island's most pressing healthcare issues: chronic illnesses such as cancers, and dependency.

MeSH terms: Breast Neoplasms; Chronic Disease; Cultural Diversity; Disabled Persons; Female; Health Services; Health Services Needs and Demand; Health Transition; Humans; Male; Needs Assessment; Neoplasms; Prostatic Neoplasms; Research; Reunion; Socioeconomic Factors; Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
DOI: 10.1016/j.bulcan.2021.11.011