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A New Approach to Interdisciplinary Health Studies: The Koster Health Project

Follér, Maj-Lis, Heyden, Guy
development projects, human ecology, human health, islands, lifestyle, longitudinal studies, models, rural population
The Koster Health Project, initiated in 1987, is an interdisciplinary development project with a focus on human ecology. The objectives are to use relatively simple methods of medical and odontological annual examinations to carry out a 10-year longitudinal study of how life situations and life style factors may direct the development of individual's health in a sparse, geographically rather isolated and socially static, rural population in which it is possible to compare older and younger generations. An investigative model is established on the Koster islands and in this model assessments of given health criteria and other preventive medical, odontological and psychosocial measures may be followed up. Furthermore, the effects of environmental changes may be ascertained. Based on the experiences from the Koster Health Project, national and international seminars are arranged on the islands with emphasis on the impact of environment and life style on human health. The nutritional questions are the centre of specific interest.