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An introduction to epidemiology

Introduction to epidemiology and how it is used to support public health activities.

The word ‘epidemiology’ is of Greek origin: ‘Epi’, meaning ‘upon’, ‘Demos’, meaning ‘population’, and ‘Logos’, meaning ‘study’. This translates to ‘a study of that which is visited upon a population’.

We now define epidemiology as the study of:

  • distribution of health outcomes or disease in a population
  • determinants that influence the occurrence of disease
  • application, which provides direction for public health action.

In this video step, we consider each of these components more thoroughly and discover some commonly used epidemiological terminology. While you’re watching, consider how epidemiological data supports, or could support, eye care work.

Book purchase

If you enjoyed this video you may wish to follow up your interest by purchasing “The Epidemiology of Eye Diseases, 3rd Edition” published by World Scientific. This book is a comprehensive coverage of the epidemiology of the world’s major blinding eye diseases, written by internationally acclaimed experts in each field, including several contributors to this course. Please note: The book is not essential to completing this course in any way.

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