A brief summary of how social and economic conditions impact health, disease and medicine.
Rudolf Virchow, regarded as the founder of modern pathology, created a concept called "artificial epidemics". Social factors such as poverty and the lack of education and democracy are key elements in the development of an epidemic. Therefore, artificial epidemics arise as artifacts of society and a false culture that is unavailable to all classes. These artifacts are indicators of defects produced by political and social organization, and therefore affect predominately those classes that don't participate in the advantages of a particular culture.
Virchow believed that epidemics have social causes, mostly hunger, poverty and poor housing. Therefore improving social conditions have a positive effect on public health.