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Eras in EpidemiologyThe Evolution of Ideas$
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Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195300666

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300666.001.0001

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The Scope and Purposes of Epidemiology

The Scope and Purposes of Epidemiology

(p.3) 1 The Scope and Purposes of Epidemiology
Eras in Epidemiology

Mervyn Susser

Zena Stein

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a brief introduction to the scope of epidemiology and lays the groundwork for subsequent chapters addressing the developments in concepts. The reach of epidemiology extends from describing the impact on health of environment and of the genetic make-up of populations to the many interactions between such factors, and beyond that to measuring the effects of efforts to control and evaluate both medical care systems and individual treatments. The ultimate aspiration of epidemiology, it could be said, is to understand and explain the health states of populations as they unfold over the life course and through history.

Keywords:   epidemiological studies, population health, public health, genetic make-up

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