Although the title of Ramazzini's famous treatise, Diseases of Tradesmen, marks him as the first systematic compiler of occupational diseases, a liberal interpretation was followed. Tradesmen included physicians, soldiers, athletes, scholars, writers, farmers, fishermen, hunters, midwives, and grave diggers, as well as the artisans and workers who are currently considered susceptible to occupational hazards, such as miners, potters, painters, stone cutters, and grain sifters. As an epidemiologist, Ramazzini contributed to an understanding of the cattle plague, rinderpest, and described epidemics of malaria and lathyrism; as a meteorologist, he noted that the height of a Torcellian column of mercury varied with the weather.
Ramazzini was born in Carpi in northern Italy, was well educated in elementary schools, studied both philosophy and medicine at the University of Parma, and received the doctorate in medicine at the age of 26. He practiced for a time in the periphery of Rome, but recurrent malaria