What is Epidemiology?

Fundamental Assumptions of Epidemiology

Epidemiology is based on two fundamental assumptions:

  1. Human disease does not occur at random; there are factors or determinants which can increase or decrease the likelihood of developing disease.
  2. These causal and preventive factors, the determinants of disease, can be identified through systematic investigation of populations.


Definition of Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease frequency in human populations. Epidemiology focuses on making comparisons in order to establish cause-effect relationships, evaluate information, and make good decisions that will improve outcomes. Epidemiology is a discipline, a way of thinking about problems, so you can draw valid conclusions and make good decisions – even in areas beyond the realm of epidemics and the usual concept of health.