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p. 11. What is epidemiology?locked

  • Rodolfo Saracci

Abstract

Epidemiology is defined as the study of all aspects of health at the level of population. Its scope includes the description of how diseases and, more generally, health-related conditions occur in the population, as well as the search for the factors at their origin. These factors could span from the level of the molecule — for example, blood cholesterol — to the level of society — for instance, loss of employment. This broad perspective makes epidemiology at the same time a biomedical and a social science. This chapter introduces the five major areas within epidemiology: descriptive, aetiological, evaluative, health services and clinical epidemiology.

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