## Epidemiology: An IntroductionIn the past thirty years epidemiology has matured from a fledgling scientific field into a vibrant discipline that brings together the biological and social sciences, and in doing so draws upon disciplines ranging from statistics and survey sampling to the philosophy of science. These areas of knowledge have converged into a modern theory of epidemiology that has been slow to penetrate into textbooks, particularly at the introductory level. Epidemiology: An Introduction closes the gap. It begins with a brief, lucid discussion of causal thinking and causal inference and then takes the reader through the elements of epidemiology, focusing on the measures of disease occurrence and causal effects. With these building blocks in place, the reader learns how to design, analyze and interpret problems that epidemiologists face, including confounding, the role of chance, and the exploration of interactions. All these topics are layered on the foundation of basic principles presented in simple language, with numerous examples and questions for further thought. |

### From inside the book

Results 1-5 of 78

Page 5

If we start with a group of people who are 40 years old, on the average they are

likely to survive to an older age than the typical

Because they have a 40-year head start; if they died before age 40, they could

not ...

If we start with a group of people who are 40 years old, on the average they are

likely to survive to an older age than the typical

**person**who was just born. Why?Because they have a 40-year head start; if they died before age 40, they could

not ...

Page 6

Any sensible

principles outlined in this book, even a sensible

sense is apt to go astray. By mastering a few fundamental epidemiologic

principles, ...

Any sensible

**person**can understand epidemiology, but without considering theprinciples outlined in this book, even a sensible

**person**using very commonsense is apt to go astray. By mastering a few fundamental epidemiologic

principles, ...

Page 7

Why or why not? 7. What is the underlying problem in comparing the average

age at death or the average age at which a

between two populations? How should you avert this problem? References 1.

MacMahon ...

Why or why not? 7. What is the underlying problem in comparing the average

age at death or the average age at which a

**person**gets a specific diseasebetween two populations? How should you avert this problem? References 1.

MacMahon ...

Page 10

Suppose that someone experiences a traumatic injury to the head that leads to a

permanent disturbance in equilibrium. Many years later, the faulty equilibrium

plays a causal role in a fall that occurs while the

Suppose that someone experiences a traumatic injury to the head that leads to a

permanent disturbance in equilibrium. Many years later, the faulty equilibrium

plays a causal role in a fall that occurs while the

**person**is walking on an icy path. Page 12

Consider the example above of the

that resulted in an equilibrium disturbance, which led years later to a fall on an icy

path. The earlier head trauma played a causal role in the later hip fracture, as did

...

Consider the example above of the

**person**who sustained trauma to the headthat resulted in an equilibrium disturbance, which led years later to a fall on an icy

path. The earlier head trauma played a causal role in the later hip fracture, as did

...

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### Contents

1 | |

8 | |

3 Measuring Disease Occurrence and Causal Effects | 24 |

4 Types of Epidemiologic Study | 57 |

5 Biases in Study Design | 94 |

6 Random Error and the Role of Statistics | 113 |

7 Analyzing Simple Epidemiologic Data | 130 |

8 Controlling Confounding by Stratifying Data | 144 |

9 Measuring Interactions | 168 |

10 Using Regression Models in Epidemiologic Analysis | 181 |

11 Epidemiology in Clinical Settings | 198 |

Appendix | 218 |

Index | 221 |

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### Common terms and phrases

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