Epidemiology I

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Epidemiology Study Guide

Introduction to Epidemiology

History * John Graunt * Published Bills of Mortality in 1622 * Analysis of weekly reports of births and deaths in London by sex, age, and time. * Discovered that births and deaths of men occurred in excess; high death rates of infants; and seasonal pattern with highest mortality in winter. * John Snow * Conducted one of the first observational studies in the neighborhoods of 19th century London and discovered that contaminated drinking water was the cause of cholera. * Carefully documented what he called a “natural experiment” in which neighbors received water provided by different companies and had differing rates of disease. * Richard Doll and Austin Bradford Hill * Conducted groundbreaking studies on cigarette smoking and lung cancer in the 1950s. * James Lind * Conducted one of the earliest experimental studies, which was the treatment of scurvy among sailors. * Using sound experimental principles, he found that the consumption of oranges and lemons were the most effective remedies for scurvy in this population. * William Farr * Compiled the Statistical Abstracts in Great Britain from 1839 through 1880. * He pioneered many activities encompassed by modern epidemiology, including the calculation of mortality rates using census data for denominators.

Definitions * Epidemiology – the study of the distribution and determinants of disease frequency. It is an applied science whose primary mission is to identify targets for preventative interventions. It rests on two assumptions * Disease does NOT occur randomly * Causal and preventative factors can be identified through systematic investigation. * Essential Elements of the Epidemiologic Approach 1. Human participants 2. Systematic…...

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