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Human Biology
Course Code
Christine Burton

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HMB342HIS Lecture 1, Jan. 11, 2011: Introduction & Abnormality
Epidemiology: the study of patterns of health & disease in human populations.
Clinical epidemiology: patients in a clinical setting, defined medically.
Evidence-based medicine: (Sackett) use of clinical epidemiology to generate results to questions that
guide clinical practice.
Common clinical questions:
1. Is the patient sick? (Abnormality)
2. How accurate are the diagnostic tests for the disease? (Diagnosis)
3. How often does the disease occur? (Frequency)
4. What factors are associated with increased risk for the disease? (Risk & causation)
5. What are the consequences of having the disease? (Prognosis)
6. How does the treatment alter the disease course? (Treatment)
7. Does intervention/early detection help to avert or improve the disease course? (Prevention)
Components of an Epidemiology Study:
1) Health Outcomes (5D):
Death, Disease, Discomfort, Disability, Dissatisfaction
2) Variables
Independent: Cause, exposure or predictor variable.
Dependent: The possible effect or outcome variable; influenced by the independent and covariables.
Co-variables: Other variables measured that may impact the relationship between dependent &
independent variables. (e.g. age, sex, height)
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