Epidemiology is the study of how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why. Epidemiological information is used to plan and evaluate strategies to prevent illness and as a guide to the management of patients in whom disease has already developed.
Like the clinical findings and pathology, the epidemiology of a disease is an integral part of its basic description. The subject has its special techniques of data collection and interpretation, and its necessary jargon for technical terms. This short book aims to provide an ABC of the epidemiological approach, its terminology, and its methods. Our only assumption will be that readers already believe that epidemiological questions are worth answering. This introduction will indicate some of the distinctive characteristics of the epidemiological approach.
D Coggon PHD, DM, FRCP, FFOM
Reader in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Medical Research Council Environmental Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton UK
Geoffrey Rose DM, DSC, FRCP, FFPHM
Late Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London UK
DJP Barker, PHD, MD, FRCP, FFPHM, FRCOG
Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Director, Medical Research Council Environmental Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton UK