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Hippocrates (460-370 BC)

First Epidemiologist

John Snow (1850s)

Father of Modern Epidemiology

Derived from the Greek words Epi = upon, demos = people, logos = study

"the study of what is upon the people"

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.

Components of Epidemiology
Frequency Distribution Determinants

To: Identify the etiology or cause of a disease and the relevant risk factors Determine the extent of disease found in the community Study the natural history and prognosis of disease Evaluate preventive and therapeutic measures and modes of health care delivery Provide the foundation for developing public policy regarding disease prevention and health promotion

Epidemiology v/s Clinical medicine

Approaches Focus Concern Responsibility Goal Skills/competence Treatment Clinical Medicine Individual Sick persons Of those who seek help Cure the patient Clinical skills PSM/Epidemiology Community/population Both sick and healthy Whole community/state Reduce Incidence & prevalence Eradicate disease Epidemiological/biostatistic and managerial skills

Pills /drugs/injections Causes, environments, Increase etc immunity, mass treatment, prophylaxis. Health legislation and health education.

Epidemiology v/s Clinical medicine

Approaches Work station Clinical Medicine Hospitals and special clinics Uses clinical parameters PSM/Epidemiology Community health centres and community

Teaching / training Bed side-patient side

Diagnostic/ evaluation tools

In community
Uses epidemiological tools: -surveys, surveillance and outbreak investigations -Health records and epid studies - Reduction of disease, death, disability rates Community participation


Patient compliance and cooperation

Intersectoral coordination
Results Laboratory

Mainly health sector

Quickly achieved Hospital wards

b/w health, ICDS, education, PRIs etc

Longer time Community

Epidemiological approach
Asking questions Making comparisons

Asking questions
Related to health events
What Where When Who Why /how

Related to health action

Basic measurements in Epidemiology

Measurement of : Mortality Morbidity Disability Natality Indicators related to health management

Tools of measurements
Rates Ratios Proportions