January 14, 2013
Epidemiology of Schizophrenia
Medical experts view schizophrenia as the cancer of all mental illness. This is because it is possibly the most dangerous and devastating mental illness known to man. Today, about one in every 100 mature American suffers from schizophrenia. This translates to nearly 2.5 million people. At the present, the disease has no known cure and it can only be managed. Although schizophrenia can manifest itself in any age, majority of the schizophrenic people show signs in their early twenties. In most cases, males show the first signs of schizophrenia at an earlier stage compared to females but unlike most other mental illnesses, the disease is evenly distributed across gender (McGrath, et al. 2005). Although there has been much research touching on this disease, the exact cause of schizophrenia is still unknown. However, researchers have found out through brain scans of individuals suffering from the disease that there are notable differences from a brain scan done on a person who does not have the diseases. However, the biggest cause of schizophrenia is believed to be genetic factor since the disease runs in families. There is also a belief among researchers that people develop schizophrenia due to the absence of some fundamental genes. In order to best understand the epidemiology of schizophrenia in the U.S., this paper will first seek to define epidemiology in order to make it easier to understand this disease in a better way. The paper will then proceed to define and illustrate the epidemiology triangle and give an illustration of how this is related to schizophrenia (Jablensky, 2003). Epidemiology
Epidemiology is the investigation of the occurrence, distribution, and causes of diseases among other health-affiliated situations in human beings. Additionally, epidemiology also deals with how the investigation of these factors can be utilized to promote better health and to prevent and manage health problems. In trying to address the issue of epidemiology, the focus is usually on the outcome of disease on a certain population rather than on individuals. Ideally, some certain diseases might prevalent in some areas while others are rare. Although the rare disease might be more deadly as compared to the prevalent one, epidemiology tends to give more emphasis on the prevalent disease since it affects many people (Hennekens, & Buring, 1987).
Ideally, the fact that epidemiology deals with the issue of frequency goes ahead to prove that it is a quantitative science. Epidemiology specifically deals with the rate of occurrence of diseases and supplementary health related conditions. The frequency of diseases is determined by morbidity and the rate of death. Ideally, epidemiology goes beyond the confines of the disease to cover other health related conditions because every human activity has a direct effect on health. Health related conditions are factors, which have a direct or indirect consequence or influence on human health (John, 2001).
When discussing distribution in epidemiology, the issue that is considered is the geographical distribution of infections, the circulation in relation to time, and distribution in the manner of the individuals that are affected in a certain region. In addition to distribution, epidemiology also examines the determinants issues, which are the determining factors on whether or not a person will contract an illness. Lastly, epidemiology seeks to investigate the issue of how the clinical investigations of the disease can be used to promote better health and to prevent and control related health problems (John, 2001). Disease Causation
In order to carry out an epidemiology of a certain disease, it is critical to examine how diseases are caused. Ideally, the cause of a disease means the events, conditions, characteristics or an amalgamation of all these factors, which plays a significant role in...
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