We search for the determinants of health outcomes, first, by relying on descriptive epidemiology to generate hypotheses about associations between exposures and outcomes. Analytic studies are then undertaken to test specific hypotheses. Samples of subjects are identified and information about exposure status and outcome is collected. The essence of an analytic study is that groups of subjects are compared in order to estimate the magnitude of association between exposures and outcomes.

In their book entitled "Epidemiology Matters" Katherine Keyes and Sandro Galea discuss three fundamental options for studying samples from a population as illustrated in the video below (duration 8:30).

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Learning Objectives

After successfully completing this section, the student will be able to: