Epidemiology: A Very Short Introduction
What is epidemiology? What are the causes of a new disease? How can pandemics be prevented? Epidemiology is the study of the changing patterns of disease and its main aim is to improve the health of populations. It's a vital field, central to the health of society, to the identification of causes of disease, and to their management and prevention. Epidemiology has had an impact on many areas of medicine; from discovering the relationship between tobacco smoking and lung cancer, to the origin and spread of new epidemics. However, it is often poorly understood, largely due to misrepresentations in the media. In this Very Short Introduction Rodolfo Saracci dispels some of the myths surrounding the study of epidemiology. He provides a general explanation of the principles behind clinical trials, and explains the nature of basic statistics concerning disease. He also looks at the ethical and political issues related to obtaining and using information concerning patients, and trials involving placebos. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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List of illustrations
Chapter 1What is epidemiology?
Chapter 2Measuring health and disease
Chapter 3Searching for the causes of disease
Chapter 4Establishing the causes of a disease
Chapter 5Testing how to control a disease
Chapter 6Following up peoples health
Chapter 8Mapping health and disease
Chapter 9From epidemiology to medicine prevention and public health
Chapter 10Epidemiology between ethics and politics
INTELLIGENCEA Very Short Introduction Ian J Deary
Chapter 7Investigating peoples past experiences
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analysis association Austin Bradford Hill biological blood pressure British doctors cardiovascular case-control studies causal causes of disease Chapter cholesterol chronic bronchitis clinical medicine cohort studies confounders consumption death develop the disease developing countries diabetes diagnosis diet drug effects EPIC epidemic epidemiological methods epidemiological studies epidemiology ethics committee evidence example experiments exposure factors Flower City genes genetic health and disease heart attacks historical cohort study hospital identified incidence rate individual influenza International intervention investigation laboratory lung cancer male measure molecules mortality myocardial infarction non-smokers normal weight number of subjects observational studies occur overweight Oxford University Press patients people’s percentage person person-years poliomyelitis population determinants possible prevention principle probability public health randomized controlled trials randomized trial ratio Richard Doll sample Saracci significance test smoking habits social specific statistical tobacco smoking today’s treatment vaccine virus vitamin week World Health Organization