In the past thirty years epidemiology has matured from a fledging scientific field into a vibrant discipline that brings together the biological and social sciences, and in doing so draws upon disciplines ranging from statistics and survey sampling to the philosophy of science. These areas of knowledge have converged into a modern theory of epidemiology that has been slow to penetrate into textbooks, particularly at the introductory level. Epidemiology: An Introduction closes the gap. It begins with a brief, lucid discussion of causal thinking and causal inference and then takes the reader through the elements of epidemiology, focusing on measures of disease occurrence and causal effects. With these building blocks in place, the reader learns how to design, analyze and interpret epidemiologic research studies, and how to deal with the fundamental problems that epidemiologists face, including confounding, the role of chance, and the exploration of interactions. All these topics are layered on the foundation of basic principles presented in simple language, with numerous examples and questions for further thought.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to Epidemiologic Thinking
2. Pioneers in Epidemiology and Public Health
3. What is Causation?
4. Measuring Disease Occurrence and Causal Effects
5. Types of Epidemiologic Studies
6. Infectious Disease Epidemiology
7. Dealing with Biases
8. Random Error and the Role of Statistics
9. Analyzing Simple Epidemiologic Data
10. Controlling Confounding by Stratifying Data
11. Measuring Interactions
12. Using Regression Models in Epidemiologic Analysis
13. Epidemiology in Clinical Settings
Kenneth J. Rothman, DrPH, is a Distinguished Fellow at RTI International, an independent nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. He is also Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Medicine at Boston University. His research interests in epidemiology have spanned a wide range of health problems, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurologic disease, birth defects, injuries, environmental exposures, and drug epidemiology, but his main career focus has been the development and teaching of the concepts and methods of epidemiologic research.