Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 1979, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (2): 85-103.doi: 10.11821/xb197902001

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THE KESHAN DISEASE IN CHINA: A STUDY OF THE GEOGRAPHICAL EPIDEMIOLOGY

  

  1. The Group of Environment and Endemic Disease, Division of Chemical Geography, Institute of Geography, Academica Sinica
  • Online:1979-04-15 Published:1979-04-15

Abstract: The so-called Keshan disease is an endemic myocardosis. It was first identified in 1935 in Keshan county, Heilongjiang province, yet, up to date, the cause for this disease has not yet been well known. This paper tries to elucidate the geographical distribution and other basic epidemiological Characteristics of the disease from geogra-phical point of view, with a view to providing a geoscientific background for checking and curing the disease according to specific local conditions.First part describes the geograpical distribution and the basic epidemiologieal characteristics of the disease in our country.Second part analyses the relationship between the Keshan disease and its physical geographical environment. By means of integrated analysis of the geographical ele-ments we find that the disease and its physical environment is very closely related. The Kechan disease is mainly distributed in and near the temperate (or warm temperate) brown and cinnamon soils regions. It forms a wide belt running from the North-East to the South-West in our country. While the typical steppe-desert region to the north-west and the typical yellow-red Soils regions to the South-Bast are disease-free.Finally, two types of physical environment are identified: that with the Keshan disease and that without it. The former contains four environmental series, while the latter six environmental series. An analysis of the pathogeny for keshan disease is also made according to the physical environmental characteristics by districts. It shows that the pathogeny is related to the chemical geographical environment, and that se-lenium might be an important factor in the Keshan disease.