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From The CriticsReviewer: Daniela Claudia Moga, MD (University of Iowa College of Public Health)
Description: This fourth edition of an introduction to epidemiology's principles and applications follows the same structure as the 2004 edition while presenting new and updated information and using color graphs and pictures to make epidemiologic concepts easier to understand.
Purpose: Many professionals apply methods and concepts derived from epidemiology. Moreover, the lay public needs to be educated in its basic principles, particularly since epidemiologic research involves human subjects and their participation is vital for valid results and inferences. Therefore, a book like this is extremely important to the field.
Audience: It addresses a large audience interested in epidemiology as a basic science for disease prevention and an important part of public health policy development and evaluation. The author targets a broad group of professionals in different disciplines, as well as the public at large. It is useful not only for a large variety of students (from health sciences to legal disciplines), but also for public health and medical practitioners who are interested in keeping up-to-date with epidemiologic research applicable to their specialty. The author has vast experience, not only in medical and epidemiologic research, but also in teaching.
Features: The book's three main sections flow in a logical manner. The first one introduces the different approaches to measure disease occurrence and explains the importance of measuring health-related outcomes. The second section presents epidemiologic methods in evaluating the relationship between risk/protective factors and disease occurrence and establishing causality. The last section, an important part of the book, emphasizes epidemiology's applications for public health programs and policies. The appendix helps readers link information from different parts of the book and the pictures and graphs help in understanding the text. The organization of the book is a clever way of introducing readers to basic epidemiology principles and methods.
Assessment: The fourth edition presents important updates in a very dynamic field and introduces the new approaches in study design. The color pictures and graphs make the concepts clearer and easier to follow most of the time. As more and more professionals use epidemiologic principles, an updated and easier to use edition of this book is valuable. I strongly recommend it.