Epiemiology

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EPIDEMIOLOGY

epidemiology=study of distibution+determinants of health related states/events - specified population+application of study - control of health problems

  • clinical medicine - emphasis on individual 
  • epidemiology - examination, patterns of disease - groups individuals
  • highly quantitative discipline - principles, statistics+research methodologies
  • epidemiology - populations
    • gender, age, genetic background, social background, level of education, use of drugs, geographical location, dietary patterns, lifestyle
  • john snow, 1854 - cholera outbreak london
  • epidemiology today
    • directed at chronic diseases - cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, dementias
    • identifying + quantifying health risks - cigarette smoking, asbestos, radiation
  • aims- epidemiological studies
    • determine distribution - disease
    • examine determinants - disease
    • judge whether given exposure causes/prevents disease
  • objectives - epidemiology
    • identify causes - disease+factors increase risk
    • describe extent disease found - community
    • describe natural history+characteristics - disease
    • evaluate preventive/therapeutic measures
    • guide policy decisions
  • basis - epidemiology
    • disease, illness+ill health - not randomly distributed - population
  • epidemiology - used?
    • analytical tool - studying diseases - determinants
    • steer public health decision making+aids developing+evaluating interventions - control+prevent health problems
  • what happened
  • who was affected
  • where were they affected
  • when were they affected
  • how were they affected
  • why did it happen
  • determinants - disease
    • host/agent/environment
  • agent - necessary ingredient - production disease
    • infectious? virus, bacteria, waterborne/airborne
    • non infectious? chemical exposure, radiation
  • environmental factors - likelihood of disease occurrence
    • population density
    • geography 
    • weather/season
  • host
    • biological+behavioural qualities - individual
    • factors influence exposure - disease causing agents+occurrence disease after exposure

epidemic=occurrence of disease - clearly excess numbers of cases normally found/expected - confined limited population=outbreak

endemic=constant low level presence - disease/infection. defined geographic location

  • basic measures - disease frequency
    • attack rate 
    • incidence
    • prevalence

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