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Cause and Effect of Disease

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1.
Explaining the difference between establishing risk factors and prevention and demonstrating cause and effect of disease?
What is the difference between epidemiological research and clinical or medical research?

2.
Analyze the criteria for establishing a cause and effect relationship with respect to health/disease and explain how these criteria can be researched by using epidemiological measures.

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1.
Explaining the difference between establishing risk factors and prevention and demonstrating cause and effect of disease?

When there are two events, with the first consistently resulting in the second, scientists recognize them as cause and effect. The cause makes something happen. The effect is what happens.
For example: the virus HIV causes AIDS, and a type of parasite called a plasmodium is the cause of malaria. By definition of cause and effect, the disease-causing agent must always be present if the effect is to occur, however risk factors on the other hand may only predict an increased frequency or probability that a particular event or disease will occur not a certainty. When looking at risk factors and disease some of the questions that may arise include: how strong is the association of the risk factor and the development of disease, and can the association be used to predict an increased frequency in disease? Additionally there are two types of risk factors usually associated with disease, absolute risk, and relative risk. Absolute risk of a disease is the risk of developing a disease over a time period. Everyone has absolute risk of developing various diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, etc (Barratt,A., Wyer,P.C., Hatala,R. McGinn,T., Dans,T.,et al 2004). Relative risk is used to compare the risk in two different groups of people. For example, smokers verse non-smokers and the development of lung cancer. So what this means is that if absolute risk of developing a disease is 4 in 100 in non-smokers. Say the relative risk of the disease is increased by 50% in smokers. The 50% ...

Solution Summary

The expert explains the differences between establishing risk factors and prevention and demonstrating cause and effects of disease. The criteria for establishing a cause and effect relationship with respect to health/disease.

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