Measure of Disease Frequency and Key Concepts

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Measure of Disease Frequency and Key Concepts

I learned that

Endemic refers to the habitual presence of a malady in a certain geographic area in a given period or an illness found among particular individuals in a given areas such as malaria.

As such, an epidemic is the presence of a disease in excess of normal or average in a geographic area in a given time such as Ebola.

When determining with disease frequency it is vital to have in mind the assumptions that define epidemiology, that is:

  • Human disease does not occur at random, that is, there are determinants or factors that can increase or decrease the likelihood of disease.
  • These factors or determinants, of which some are casual and others preventive, can be identified through subgroups with populations or systematic investigation of populations.

Determinants of disease occurrence include:Measure of Disease Frequency and Key Concepts

  • Population size
  • Number of people affected
  • Length of time

N/B – Failure to contemplate all three determinants often leads to false impression about disease occurrence.

Frequency refers to the number of health events and the relationship of that number to the size of the population. Therefore,

Disease Frequency refers to the number of disease occurrence and the relationship of that number to the size of the population.

A good example of disease pattern is the one portrayed in Riverside County and San Bernardino County whereby the leading cause of deaths in Riverside County and San Bernardino County was diseases of the heart followed by cerebrovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Diabetes Mellitus.

Types of Epidemiology Exercises-measure of Disease Frequency and Key Concepts

  • Health Epi – aims to prevent and control infections related to healthcare, as well as, other adverse outcomes in the healthcare setting through the actualization of research
  • Social Epi – focuses on the impacts of social-cultural factors or determinants on state of health.
  • Nutritional/Lifestyle Epi – focuses on the food and activities people eat and engage in each day.
  • Environmental Epi – refers to the study of maladies and health conditions in populations that are linked to environmental factors such as smoke from tobacco, fish from ponds containing chemicals, crops grown on contaminated land.
  • Molecular Epi – refers to the investigation of molecular and genetic determinants of disease and health, for instance, gene associated with diabetes (2), spread of MERS and early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

While the information on disease frequency and patterns is extremely prominent, less focus in placed on how the information generated by epidemiological methods and exercises can be used. This is an area that I would like to see future research focus on in detail.