Descriptive Epidemiology





Epidemiologyis the basic science of public health. The main goal of epidemiologyis to identify the causes of health conditions in order to increasehealth and safety measures of the human population. A population canbe a town, race, age group or a country while the health conditionsrefer to anything that can impact health (Merrill, 2010).

Inanalyzing who is at a greater risk, epidemiology developed twoapproaches namely descriptive and analytical epidemiology.Descriptive epidemiology evaluates the circumstances surrounding anaffected person while analytical epidemiology uses descriptive datato identify causal hypothesis. The two approaches help the publichealth institutions by providing information that helps reduce healthimpacting events (Merrill, 2010).

Tostart with, descriptive epidemiology in person examines factors likeeducation, age, gender and social economic status. The information isgathered from people`s behavior like eating, drug abuse and shiftwork (Merrill, 2010). Some studies show that there is a correlationbetween people working on night shifts and high blood pressure.Although, not all working at night will have blood pressure but workshift tend to increase this condition.

Secondly,place descriptive epidemiology is another evaluation. This might meanthe geographic features of an area or borders of a town. Thissuggests that people leaving near lakes are at a higher risk todevelop West Nile Virus caused by mosquitoes. Place evaluation alsoincludes the population of an area where people work, live or school(Merrill, 2010).

Finally,time descriptive epidemiology refers to things happening at aspecific time, day or time in the year (Merrill, 2010). People areprone to developing flu during winter months thus predicting the mosteffective time for vaccinations. This has lead to studies that proveon when certain events will occur. For instance, drunken drivingaccidents tend to occur during holidays like Christmas and thisincreases the risk of being injured at this particular period(Merrill, 2010).


Merrill,R. M. (2010). Introductionto epidemiology.Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.