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Basic Biostatistics for Geneticists and Epidemiologists: A Practical Approach

ISBN: 978-0-470-02491-1
384 pages
November 2008
Basic Biostatistics for Geneticists and Epidemiologists: A Practical Approach (0470024917) cover image


Anyone who attempts to read genetics or epidemiology research literature needs to understand the essentials of biostatistics. This book, a revised new edition of the successful Essentials of Biostatistics has been written to provide such an understanding to those who have little or no statistical background and who need to keep abreast of new findings in this fast moving field. Unlike many other elementary books on biostatistics, the main focus of this book is to explain basic concepts needed to understand statistical procedures.

This Book:

  • Surveys basic statistical methods used in the genetics and epidemiology literature, including maximum likelihood and least squares.
  • Introduces methods, such as permutation testing and bootstrapping, that are becoming more widely used in both genetic and epidemiological research.
  • Is illustrated throughout with simple examples to clarify the statistical methodology.
  • Explains Bayes’ theorem pictorially.
  • Features exercises, with answers to alternate questions, enabling use as a course text.

Written at an elementary mathematical level so that readers with high school mathematics will find the content accessible. Graduate students studying genetic epidemiology, researchers and practitioners from genetics, epidemiology, biology, medical research and statistics will find this an invaluable introduction to statistics.

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction: The role and Relevance of Statistics, Genetics and Epidemiology In Medicine.

2. Populations, Samples, and Study Design.

3. Descriptive Statistics.

4. The Laws of Probability.

5. Random Variables and Distributions.

6. Estimates and Confidence Limits.

7. Significance Tests and Tests of Hypotheses.

8. Likelihood Ratios, Bayesian Methods and Multiple Hypotheses.

9. The Many Uses of Chi-Square.

10. Correlation and Regression.

11. Analysis of Variance and Linear Models.

12. Some Specialized Techniques.

13. Guides to a Critical Evaluation of Published Reports.


Review Problems.

Answers to Odd-Numbered Problems.



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The Wiley Advantage

  • Written for those with little or no statistical background.
  • Surveys up-to-date statistical methods used in genetics and epidemiology literature, including meta-analysis.
  • Gives rationale underlying concepts to allow a better understanding of the appropriateness of procedures in given circumstances.
  • Includes examples of computer code for implementation of the methodology.
  • Features exercises, enabling use as a course text.
  • Supported by a Web site featuring full data sets and extra computer code.
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“This is a well-written and comprehensive review of the basic (and not-so-basic) concepts and techniques in biostatistics. It is understandable to biologists and clinicians, while still providing useful pointers and reminders to statisticians. It is worth a place on the bookshelves of all researchers in genetics, regardless of their statistical expertise.” (Human Genetics, February 2010)

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