Epidemiology Notes

Topics: Epidemiology, Demography, Mortality rate Pages: 15 (4203 words) Published: October 10, 2012
Epidemiology concerned with distribution and determinants of health and diseases morbidity, injuries, disability and mortality in population groups not among individuals. Often referred to as population medicine. Epidemiologic studies are applied to control health problems in populations. Concerned with efforts to describe explain predict and control. Determinants- are factors or events that are capable of bringing about a change in health. Examples are specific biologic agents that are associated with infectious diseases such as bacteria, and chemical agents that may act as carcinogens. Can be stress, overeating, bad diets. Distribution – variance of disease occurrence in population illustrate how disease may have different distributions depending upon underlying characteristics of populations being studied. Characteristics of the epidemiologic approach

Describe the health status of populations. enumerate cases, obtain frequency, discover trends. Explain etiology of disease to discover causal factors as well as to determine modes of transmission. Predict occurrence of disease is to estimate actual number of cases that will develop as to identify the distribution within populations. Crucial to planning interventions and allocation of healthcare resources. Control distribution of disease the epidemiologic approach is used to prevent occurrence of new cases of disease to eradicate existing cases and to prolong lives of those with disease. Epidemiology is an interdisciplinary field that draws from biostatistics and social and behavioral sciences as well as from the medically related fields of toxicology, pathology, virology, genetics microbiology and clinical medicine. Biostatistics is critical to the evaluation of epidemiologic data. The contributions of many disciplines help unravel the factors associated with a particular disease. Quantification refers to translation of qualitative impressions into numbers and it is a central activity of epidemiology. Standard epidemiologic measures often require counting number of cases of disease examining their distribution according to demographical variables such as age sex race etc. Epidemic excessive occurrence of illness or outbreak.

Pandemic refers to an epidemic on a worldwide scale
Endemic used to characterize a disease that is habitually present in a particular geographical region. Surveillance denotes systematic collection of data pertaining to occurrence of specific diseases, analysis and interpretation of these data and dissemination of consolidated and processed information to interested persons. Morbidity designates illness.

Mortality refers to death.
Discuss Hippocrates Hypothesis and how it differed from common beliefs of the time. Common belief at the time was disease causal was supernatural explanations. Hippocrates 400BC idea was disease might be associated with climate and the physical environment. He had a more rational account of human illness. Graunt contributions to biostatistics and how do they effect modern epidemiology. 1662 wrote book indexing mortality. John Graunt is said to be the first to employ quantitative methods in describing population vital statistics. Said to be the Columbus of Statistics. His procedures allowed the discovery of trends and deaths to specific causes. His development of statistical methods was highly important. Edward Jenner developed small pox vaccination

Natural experiment
1849 a naturally occurring situation “Natural Experiment “of cholera outbreak Snow linked cholera epidemic to contaminated water supplies he used many features of epidemiologic inquiry. Organized Observations, a natural experiment and quantitative approach. William Farr

Developed more sophisticated system for codifying medical conditions. Classification scheme he used is the basis of International Classification of Diseases in use today. Robert Koch late 1800 verified that a human disease was casued by a specific living...
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