The word syndemics is used to express the aggregation of two or more disease clusters or epidemics in a population within social and environmental context and explain the unexpected increases in burden of diseases. Our knowledge about social, cultural and economic determinants of health and diseases is not new and has an old history. The thing which is new regarding syndemics is the interaction of social conditions with epidemics which exacerbate the prognosis and burden of disease more than expected.
The dynamics of this occurrence is different than epidemics, pandemics and comorbidity and needs to be clarified. However, despite the presence of several efforts to explain the role of psychosocial and structural variables on such interactions, there is no satisfactory formulation regarding the causality mechanisms of syndemics. First syndemics was defined among AIDS patients and high-risk groups of HIV/AIDS infections. Within a short time it was understood that syndemic interactions could occur between several communicable or non-communicable diseases and health problems. Tuberculosis among communicable diseases, and depression, diabetes and obesity among noncommunicable diseases are well known examples. There are studies and publications regarding the syndemic characteristics of sudden infant deaths (SID/SUID), anemia and childhood developmental problems. Results of the studies published in recent two decades indicate the existence of several syndemics which are significant threats to public health. “Syndemic care”, a holistic medicine approach instead of single-disease oriented therapies is needed for struggling these problems. Such an approach shows the necessity and importance of social sciences during the medical education.