Epidemiology: An Introduction / Edition 1

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Across the last forty years, epidemiology has developed into a vibrant scientific discipline that brings together the social and biological sciences, incorporating everything from statistics to the philosophy of science in its aim to study and track the distribution and determinants of health events. A now-classic text, the second edition of this essential introduction to epidemiology presents the core concepts in a unified approach that aims to cut through the fog and elucidate the fundamental concepts. Rather than focusing on formulas or dogma, the book presents basic epidemiologic principles and concepts in a coherent and straightforward exposition. By emphasizing a unifying set of ideas, students will develop a strong foundation for understanding the principles of epidemiologic research.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an excellent introduction to the principles and concepts of epidemiology. In a little over 200 pages Rothman covers all the essential topics for an introductory graduate level course in epidemiology." —European Journal of Public Health

"Epidemiology: An Introduction is a superb addition to other publications that have appeared in the past decade. The author has achieved the stated goal of providing a coherent overview of epidemiologic principles and concepts."—American Journal of Epidemiology

"Kenneth Rothman has taken the time to write a short and excellent introductory epidemiology textbook....Frequently introductory texts strive for brevity through superficiality of coverage. Rothman chose a different approach: selectivity of subject matter. As a result, Epidemiology: An Introduction provides an exceptionally lucid overview of analytic epidemiology.... The mix of text, graphics, tables, and sidebars that is used throughout the book proves very useful in explicating important concepts such as confounding, interaction, study design, and biases, which may be challenging to the student in an introductory course.... The clarity of expression in this book should be an inspiration to other authors and teachers of epidemiology."—The Epidemiology Monitor

"This text is ideal for beginners in epidemiological statistics to learn the terminology and understand how and when to use statistical tools. The text focuses on concepts, not on mathematics, and discusses statistical techniques in the context of the real problems they can solve. This text bridges the gap between what is taught in an introductory statistics text and what you need to be an effective researcher and analyst." — STATA

"In summary, this book is a brilliant introductory book to learn concepts of epidemiology. In contrast to the many available introductory books (several of them written in a naive way), this book does not trivialize these concepts. It perfectly prepares the reader for the reference book of epidemiologic methods entitled "Modern Epidemiology" by Rothman et al... I am not aware of any other introductory book of epidemiology that presents these many epidemiologic concepts. It is a perfect—although demanding—reader for an introductory course of epidemiology in master programs of epidemiology, public health, and at medical schools." — European Journal of Epidemiology

"Students and scholars who pursue epidemiology as a career should find this book a useful addition to their library. It does not present different basic concepts and methods than other introductory books do, but it does provide insights into how they developed and should be interpreted. This is a worthwhile new edition." — Doody's

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: James C. Torner, PhD, MS (University of Iowa College of Public Health)
Description: This is thought-provoking introductory book that can provide a foundation for epidemiology students and academicians. More than a reiteration of epidemiology design and methods, it is a commentary on epidemiological concepts and how the methods are applied. The first edition was published in 2002. New to this edition are chapters on historical aspects of epidemiology and infectious disease epidemiology and an expansion of measurement errors and biases.
Purpose: The goal is to add understanding and critical thinking to the foundations of epidemiology. Because the methodology of epidemiology has implications, the author describes the context of design and analytical issues in causation, analytical conclusions, and applications.
Audience: It appears to me that the author strives to educate readers beyond the basic concepts and methods. Hence, although not stated, students who want more than just how to do epidemiology, instead striving to understand what epidemiology does, will enjoy this book. It is designed to stimulate. The author is a recognized scholar in epidemiology and wants to provide ideas as a forum for discussion, which he continues to do with this edition.
Features: The book lays a foundation in the first few chapters with key epidemiology concepts, the supporting historical developments, and understanding of causation. The next section focuses on measurement and design in epidemiological studies. A chapter on infectious disease epidemiology describes the methods and modeling of infectious diseases. The next section focuses on bias identification and then bias control. The subsequent chapters focus on interpreting interactions and regression modeling. The book finishes with an application to clinical epidemiology. The flow between chapters is traditional, yet unique to thought development. The book does not go into depth on analytical methods, but other books might be supportive.
Assessment: Students and scholars who pursue epidemiology as a career should find this book a useful addition to their library. It does not present different basic concepts and methods than other introductory books do, but it does provide insights into how they developed and should be interpreted. This is a worthwhile new edition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195135541
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/7/2002
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction to Epidemiologic Thinking 1
2 What Is Causation? 8
3 Measuring Disease Occurrence and Causal Effects 24
4 Types of Epidemiologic Study 57
5 Biases in Study Design 94
6 Random Error and the Role of Statistics 113
7 Analyzing Simple Epidemiologic Data 130
8 Controlling Confounding by Stratifying Data 144
9 Measuring Interactions 168
10 Using Regression Models in Epidemiologic Analysis 181
11 Epidemiology in Clinical Settings 198
Appendix 218
Index 221
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