What Do You Understand by Term Epidemiology? How the Study of Epidemiology Helps Us to Know the Health Status of the Community? Discuss the Importance of Surveillance in the Community Health.

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What do you understand by term Epidemiology? How the study of Epidemiology helps us to know the health status of the community? Discuss the importance of Surveillance in the community health. Epidemiology is the study of how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why. Epidemiological information is used to plan and evaluate strategies to prevent illness and as a guide to the management of patients in whom disease has already developed. Like the clinical findings and pathology, the epidemiology of a disease is an integral part of its basic description. The subject has its special techniques of data collection and interpretation, and its necessary jargon for technical terms. This short book aims to provide an ABC of the epidemiological approach, its terminology, and its methods. Our only assumption will be that readers already believe that epidemiological questions are worth answering. This introduction will indicate some of the distinctive characteristics of the epidemiological approach. The distribution of disease occurs in patterns in a community. In epidemiology we study these distribution patterns in various subgroups of the population by time, place and person; that is: A.Whether there is an increase or decrease of disease over time; whether there is a higher concentration of disease in one geographic area than in others B.Whether the disease occurs more often in Men or in a particular age-group, and characteristic of those affected and not affected. Study of these patterns may suggest or lead to measure to control or prevention of disease. Also one can formulate an etiological hypothesis of disease through these “descriptive epidemiology”. Study of Epidemiology helps us in measuring the spread of disease, affected persons, how to prevent the disease from spreading. The following are the studies of Epidemiology: (A)Observational studies:

Descriptive Studies
1)Case reports
2)Case series
4)Cross-Sectional/ prevalence
Analytical Studies
(1)Case control/Case reference
(2)Cohort/ Follow-up
(B)Experimental Studies/Intervention Studies
(1)Randomized controlled trials/Clinical trials
(2)Field trials/Community intervention trials
(3)Community trials
Descriptive Studies: Epidemiological investigations often start with eth case reports and evolve to become a series of cases. The procedure involved in descriptive studies are defining population and the disease under study, describing the disease by time, place and person, measuring the disease (in terms of incidence/prevalence) comparing with known indices and formulating an etiological hypothesis. Descriptive epidemiology may use a cross-sectional or longitudinal design to obtain estimates of the cross section of the population at one point in time. In longitudinal study examinations are repeated in the same population over a prolonged period of time by means of follow-up examination. Analytical Studies: Here the objective is not to formulate, but to test hypotheses. In contrast to descriptive studies that look at entire populations, in analytical studies, the subject of interest is the individual within the population. Here the comparison is made between cause/study group and control groups. Analytical studies may be observational or experimental. Observational Studies: In an Observational study, the epidemiologist assigns subjects to case and comparison groups. This assignment may take place after an event has occurred or before an event has happened. Observational studies are carried out to determine whether or not the statistical association exits between a disease and a suspected cause, and if one exists the strength of association.

Cohort study: The starting point of a cohort study is the recording of healthy subjects with and without exposure to the putative agent or the characteristic being studied. Individuals exposed to the agent under study (index subjects) are followed over time and...
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