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The nature of the city 

The nature of the city

Matilda van den Bosch

and William Bird

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date: 28 June 2022

The transition of humankind from mainly rural to urban living has various implications for health and disease among populations. Losing certain environmental exposures from the countryside, while getting new urban exposures provide both risks and opportunities. The rapid pace of urbanization has caused a mismatch in human adaptive capacity, for example resulting in higher prevalence of diabetes in cities in various parts of the world. This can partly be explained by a change in lifestyle related to diet and physical activity associated with urban living. Also mental disorders, like schizophrenia and depression are more common in urban areas. A potential biological explanation may be structural and functional changes in certain brain structures, as a response to urban environments, rendering a higher vulnerability to social stress. Recent neuroscientific studies have indicated that this explanation is plausible.

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