Epidemiological Specialties

Epidemiological Specialties

Robert Friis (Chair, Health Sciences Department, California State University, Long Beach ) gives expert video advice on: What is infectious diseases epidemiology?; How is epidemiology applied to global health problems? and more...

What is 'risk factor epidemiology'?

Risk factor epidemiology refers to a type of epidemiology that involves looking for specific risk factors associated with disease. Examples are: what is the association between hypertension and developing a heart attack, what is the association between lack of exercise and development of obesity. It looks at the association between specific risk factors and how those increase the probability of coming down with a specific disease or form of morbidity.

What is 'clinical epidemiology'?

Clinical epidemiology refers to the application of epidemiology to specific clinical problems. An example would be, "If an individual is administered a specific treatment, what is the likelihood that that individual will survive?" Another aspect of clinical epidemiology is the use of screening tests to refer individuals for diagnostic work-up.

What is 'molecular epidemiology'?

Molecular epidemiology is sometimes known as "looking inside the black box". It refers to the applications of molecular techniques and genetic techniques to the study of the occurrence of disease and the mechanisms of disease in the population.

What is infectious diseases epidemiology?

Infectious disease epidemiology is one of the most common applications of epidemiology. It refers to investigating the outbreak of diseases that occur in the population. One example might be the occurrence of the Ebola virus that happened in Africa some time ago. Epidemiologists were heavily involved in trying to identify the agent responsible for the outbreak and the means of the agent's transmission.

What is 'genetic epidemiology'?

Genetic epidemiology refers to the application of genetic techniques to the study of occurrence of disease in populations. For example, some important work has been done on genetic factors in cancer and how those relate to the occurrence of disease in the population.

How is epidemiology applied to global health problems?

Epidemiology is applied to global health problems in order to investigate locally occurring issues, such as problems associated with water born disease contamination, tropical medicine, diseases related to worms and mosquitoes, malaria and so forth. And then showing how these differences vary from one region to another.

What is 'psychiatric epidemiology'?

Psychiatric epidemiology involves the application of epidemiologic techniques to study the occurrence of mental disorders in the population, how they vary among certain social groups, demographic groups and other epidemiologic variables.

What is 'behavioral epidemiology'?

Behavioural epidemiology involves the investigation of lifestyle factors that may be associated with disease occurrence. Examples of these lifestyle factors are smoking, sedentary lifestyle, diet, and how these relate to the occurrence of disease in the population.

What is 'social epidemiology'?

Social epidemiology often draws upon the tools of sociology and social sciences in order to explain the occurrence of diseases in populations. Examples of issues relevant to social epidemiology include how diseases vary according to social class and status hierarchy.