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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jack Goldberg, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This book outlines the new field of genetic epidemiology.
Purpose: The purpose is to describe and delineate genetic epidemiology. It brings together material that previously could be obtained only by reading journal literature in the separate fields of genetics and epidemiology.
Audience: It is not absolutely clear who is the intended audience. The subject matter assumes an advanced level of knowledge in genetics, epidemiology, and statistics. Without knowledge in all three fields the reader is likely to be quickly lost. The book is appropriate for advanced graduate students and researchers in genetic epidemiology.
Features: The book's organization is a major feature. After an introductory chapter, the authors present separate chapters that explain some of the key concepts in genetics and epidemiology. The next section includes two chapters that present the rationale for studying genetic traits as outcomes. The core of the book is formed by four excellent chapters that synthesize current methodology for the conduct of family studies of disease aggregation. A last chapter explaining the public health significance of genetic epi demiology is not essential. This is a nice-looking book with adequate but not exceptional illustrations. The references are up-to-date, and the index is reasonable.
Assessment: This is a fine book in a difficult area. It is far superior to previous books in genetic epidemiology that have paid scant attention to epidemiology and have concentrated on quantitative genetics. The four chapters on the familial clustering of disease are likely to make the book a key reference in the field.