The Role of Epidemiology

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“What is the role of Epidemiology? Explain how Epidemiology can be used to determine priority areas for Australia’s health”

Epidemiology is the study of disease in groups or populations. Its role is to develop the health profile of the population through specific data collection it is a useful tool in developing health priority areas.

Epidemiology has a number of roles and serves many purposes. One such purpose is assisting in the determination of health priority areas, one such measure of determining priority area’s can be found by studying the mortality rates of a population. Mortality refers to the number of deaths in a given population by a particular cause over time, mortality rates can be ascertained by the prevalence and incidence of fatal diseases in the population. Discovering the most common causes for death in the can aid in the decision making process of making health priority areas by showing what diseases are killing the most people and who they are effecting, for example either male or female. Examples of leading causes of death in Australia for 2005 are ischaemic heart disease and lung cancer, knowledge of this information allows us to prioritize how much funding goes into preventative measures and curative measures of ischaemic heart disease and lung cancer

Life expectancy is one measure used to determine health priority areas. Life expectancy is the projected average number of years of life remaining to a person of a particular age, it is based on the current death rates and changes over time. Having high life expectancy in a population shows the relative health of a population, however, it also shows that it is an aging population meaning that more priority will have to be placed on funding for aged health care facilities such as nursing homes. For example Australia has a high life expectancy at 78 years for males and 83 for females, this means that Australia has an aging population and that in the future health priorities should...
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