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Definition of Epidemiology

A branch of medical science that discusses the spreading of the disease amongst the human population is called Epidemiology. It determines the factors determining the spread of the disease. Epidemiology determines it with the help of statistics. It works on groups of people rather than individuals. It was discovered in the 19th century for the search of underlying health issues. It searches for diseases amongst a larger population. In this manner, it can find the cure and prevent it easily. Epidemiology uses mortality rate and prevalence rate in its research for diseases amongst groups of the population. Epidemiology meaning to deal with possible control of the distribution of diseases that affects large groups of people. Blood pressure, anxiety, depression, obesity are some general epidemiology examples.

Study of Epidemiology

Disciplinary factors are maintained while studying epidemiology. Statistics and biostatistics are mainly required to focus on epidemiology. The study of biology, pathology, and physiology is highly involved in epidemiology. These parts of studies of epidemiology are related to biomedical and health sciences. The study of psychology, anthropology, and sociology is related to behavioural and social science in epidemiology. It targets the risk of a disease and its spread. Accordingly, it works on its prevention and cures. Academic research epidemiologists, infection control epidemiologists are some places for studying epidemiology. The father of epidemiology is John Snow, the famous pioneer, and English physician. Indicating sensitivity is also a point of dependency and is known as clinical epidemiology. Descriptive epidemiology describes the distribution of disease. To understand the variation in disease among populations, descriptive epidemiology analyses and collects data. 

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Use of Epidemiology

The uses of epidemiology are described as follows.

  • Important Factors

Firstly determine the factors, agent, host, and carrier of the disease. Epidemiology does deep research on his studies. The research includes demography, sociology, psychology, all study of medicines. The information about the disease is collected in an orderly manner. This helps the team to work efficiently and go through the work history seamlessly. 

  • Occurrence of Disease in a Group or Community

The purpose of community diagnosis and prognosis is required to study the occurrence of disease in the environment. Epidemiology pays attention to the groups of people having the same disease, rather than the individual. Epidemic proportions, the leading cause of death, high fatality cases, or complications are used to determine the severity of the diseases. It also checks amongst a group of the young generation and older generation separately.

  • Epidemiology of s Disease

At the cellular and functional levels, the disease is initialized. It depends on the disease at which point it gets detected and manifested. Indicating sensitivity is also a point of dependency and is known as clinical epidemiology. At times, a disease can be stationary and arrested. Sometimes it can be aggravated or relieved. 

  • Determination of Risk

The measure of risk is crucial. The rates of the type in the parenthesis are appropriate demonstrators of an epidemiologist. A person will catch a disease or will detect the disease at different times. The person will die with the disease at a certain point. For prognosis and actual purposes, all these points measure probabilities of risk.

  • Study Occurrence of Disease and Death

A historical study is a study of the occurrence of disease or death with time as a variable. With time, the distribution of the population changes. For example, there is a difference in the age distribution of a population but the difference in sex distribution is null. 

  • Search of cCuses

The cause of diseases is very undetectable. It may spread from the host as well as carriers. The evidence is chiefly circumstantial in cases of cancer and arteriosclerosis. Certain hosts and environmental factors can be the reason for the spread of certain diseases.

  • Prevention and Control of the Disease

The ideal control measure is the primary measure to prevent disease. Diagnosis and treatment come under secondary control. Rehabilitation and defect correction are tertiary control.

  • Identification of Clinical Syndrome

A group of signs and symptoms are needed to identify a disease. Based on the subtle peculiarities, we can differentiate amongst the disease.

Types of Epidemiology

  1. Case-control studies: The degree of association between various risk factors and outcomes are used in case-control studies.

  2. Cohort studies differentiate patients into two groups. It checks if the patient develops the disease in the exposed or unexposed groups.

  3. Experimental studies include randomized clinical trials that are standards for study purposes. 

Function of Epidemiology

To address the research work logically and with less ambiguity, the study of epidemiology is crucial.

Solved Questions

1. What is the Function of Epidemiology?

Ans: the epidemiology that depends on the structure of social factors and health states is called social epidemiology. It declares health and disease based on the advantages and disadvantages in society.

2. What is a Space Definition Case?

Ans: When a true case is included, excluding any milder or atypical cases with their expenses, then it is called a specific or mild case definition. 

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FAQs on Epidemiology

1. Explain the Difference Between Cohort and Case-Control Study.

Ans: Based on the exposure, subjects are enrolled in the cohort studies. Subjects are enrolled based on their interest in the disease. If the disease is present or not in the case of a case-control study. Disease status and exposure are accessed in both the subjects. The cohort studies are done for many years. The other study is upon any new outbreak of a disease. A wide range of health problems is studied using both cohort and case-control studies. They also deal with two branches of diseases. Infectious branch and non-infectious branch. A snapshot of the populations’ health is provided in the cross-control study. So, it deals with prevalence and not incidence.  

2. Describe Analytical Epidemiology.

Ans: comparison group is one of the main features of analytical epidemiology. There was an outbreak of hepatitis b in Pennsylvania. It was found that there was a large group of people visiting the same restaurant for more than four weeks. Before the research was made, it was unknown, which worker was serving foods and which food was contaminated. The researchers made a comparison on which people had eaten in the restaurant and did not fall sick. Causes and effects are the base of research in analytical epidemiology. Epidemiology itself cannot prove the outcome of any disease hence it requires the help of analytical epidemiology.

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