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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: James C. Torner, PhD, MS (University of Iowa College of Public Health)
Description: This is a much-needed book for individuals who want to apply the tenets and methods of epidemiology to reproductive health. The only other book with this orientation I am aware of was published in 1984.
Purpose: This is an introduction to reproductive epidemiology for students who have had limited exposure to the biomedical sciences or statistics. This is a worthy objective, but I think it is really more appropriate for more advanced students. A background in epidemiology and statistics would be helpful for readers. However, it is an excellent, thorough book on reproductive epidemiology.
Audience: The author states the book is written for students, but I think it can be used by more senior researchers as well, as a reference and an update to the older publication.
Features: The book covers the basic foundations of reproductive epidemiology. In that sense, it is more of a foundational text on epidemiologic methods applied to reproductive health. The second portion of the book is organized by environments related to reproduction — physical, chemical, biological, etc. The book then provides definitions and discusses appropriate research designs and statistical methods used in the field. Examples are excellent and clear.
Assessment: This is a much needed book for students in the classroom and for researchers as a reference. It really is the only one since Perinatal Epidemiology, Bracken (Oxford University Press, 1984) with this focus. (Another recently published book, Fertility and Pregnancy: An Epidemiologic Perspective, Wilcox (Oxford University Press, 2010), focuses more on biophysiological explanations and pathways.)