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Epidemiology Foundations: The Science of Public Health

ISBN: 978-0-470-91072-6
250 pages
November 2010, Jossey-Bass
Epidemiology Foundations: The Science of Public Health (0470910720) cover image

Written by Peter J. Fos—an expert in epidemiology with more than twenty years teaching experience—Epidemiology Foundations offers an ideal introduction to the theory and practice of public health epidemiology. This important text discusses both the historical perspective and future trends of epidemiology, reviews health and disease, and explains how they are measured. The book's overview of epidemiological studies shows how they are used in practice. Epidemiology Foundations takes a social and community perspective and includes information about global diseases and epidemics.

Emphasis on concepts such as population health, social determinants, and global health make this book especially interesting and accessible to those new to the subject. Each chapter is supplemented with problem-solving exercises and research assignments to aid readers in understanding its epidemiology principles. Reflecting and expanding on recommendations of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Epidemiology Foundations is the ideal text for any course introducing epidemiology in public health.

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Figures ix

Tables xi

Preface xv

The Author xix

Chapter 1: Why Epidemiology? 1

Introduction 2

Public Health and Community Medicine 2

Defi nition of Epidemiology 3

Population Health 9

Population Trends 10

Health Costs 15

Global Health Threats 17

Summary 17

Chapter 2: History of Epidemiology 21

Historical Perspectives 22

Uses of Epidemiology 29

Examples of Cohort Studies 30

Summary 31

Chapter 3: Health and Disease 35

Defi nitions 36

Distinction Between Health and Disease 37

Disease Progression 39

Cause and Effect 43

Summary 49

Chapter 4: Describing Health and Disease 53

Descriptive Epidemiology 54

Hypotheses 55

Descriptive Variables 56

Examples of Use of Descriptive Information 75

Summary 76

Chapter 5: Measuring Health and Disease 79

Morbidity 80

Mortality 90

Other Measures 97

Graphing Health and Disease Measurements 102

Confounding 105

Summary 108

Chapter 6: Epidemiology Study Designs: Observational and Experimental Studies 113

Defi nition of Observational Studies 114

Framework and Types of Observational Studies 114

Descriptive Studies 115

Analytical Studies 119

Examples of Observational Studies 123

Definition of Experimental Studies 124

Framework and Types of Experimental Studies 125

Clinical Trials 126

Bias and Validity 131

Examples of Experimental Studies 132

Summary 133

Chapter 7: Uses of Epidemiological Studies 137

Introduction 137

Observational Studies 139

Experimental Studies 152

Summary 153

Chapter 8: Epidemics 159

Definition 160

Transmission 161

Response to Epidemics 165

Surveillance 170

Reportable Diseases 171

Examples 171

Summary 174

Chapter 9: Epidemiology and Society 179

Introduction 180

Social Determinants 181

Socioeconomic Factors and Health 183

The Built Environment 185

Summary 188

Chapter 10: Screening for Disease 193

Prevention and Epidemiology 194

Screening 195

Accuracy of Screening Tests 196

Summary 207

Chapter 11: Community Public Health 211

Introduction 212

Community Health Workers 213

Community Level Planning and Evaluation 214

Examples 218

Public Health Programs 219

Public Health Agencies 224

Summary 225

Chapter 12: Epidemiology Today 229

Emergency Preparedness 230

Global Health 232

Emerging Diseases 236

Chronic Diseases 247

Summary 256

Notes 259

Index 275

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Peter J. Fos is provost and professor of health sciences at the University of Texas at Tyler. He is an internationally known decision scientist and epidemiologist. He maintains adjunct faculty positions at the University of Southern Mississippi College of Health and at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, School of Health-Related Professions, and is a visiting scholar at the Medical University of South Carolina, College of Health Professions.

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