The study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to control of health problems. [G. epidemios, epidemic, + logos, study] The study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states in human and other animal populations. Epidemiological studies involve surveillance, observation, hypothesis-testing, and experiment. Distribution is established by analyzing the time, place, and class of person affected by a disease. Determinants may include physical, biological, social, cultural, and behavioral factors. Epidemiological methods are most commonly applied to the study of disease; however, they also may be used to examine causes of death (e.g., homicides of various sorts) or behaviors (e.g., tobacco or alcohol use, practice of safe sex, use of health services). Epidemiology plays a key role in formulation and implementation of public health policy.
clinical e. the field concerned with applying epidemiological principles in a clinical setting.Whereas classical epidemiology studies populations in an attempt to assess causes and distribution of disease and to formulate statistical measures of risk, clinical epidemiology focuses on medically defined populations (patients).
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