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PUBHLTH 1 (54)
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Lecture 5

PUBHLTH 1 Lecture 5: Lecture 4/12/17

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University of California - Irvine
Public Health
Zuzana Bic

Chapter 5 Epidemiologic Principles and Methods Definition of Epidemiology Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease frequency in human populations Define the Disease Death is easy to determine death certificates have cause of death Some diseases need blood tests or stool cultures to verify diagnosis Some diseases are hard to define Sometimes definition changes as more is learned e.g. AIDS Other health outcomes injuries, risk factors Disease Frequency Count number of people with disease and relate to population at risk (PAR) PAR is a denominator; may be total population or exposed population, or one gender or age group; often comes from census Two ways to measure frequency: Incidence number of new cases over a defined period of time Prevalence number of existing cases at a specific time Incidence is used for studying causes of disease If causes or risk factors increase, incidence and prevalence increase If ability to diagnose increases, incidence and prevalence increase Prevalence depends on incidence and prognosis Distribution of Disease Who sex, age, occupation, race, etc When season, year (longterm trends), elapsed time since an exposure (epidemic curve) Where neighborhood (e.g. clusters), latitude (climate), urban vs. rural, national variations Determinants of Disease Why is a distribution as it is? Can make inferences from distribution Risk factors Human Population Epidemiology observes humans, in contrast to biomedical sciences, which can do experiments on laboratory animals Kinds of Epidemiologic Studies Goal is to determine an association bw an exposure and a disease or other health outcome May be prospective or retrospective Intervention study Cohort study Casecontrol study Intervention Study Closest thing to an experiment
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