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Epidemiology: Cause And Effect

Do epidemiological studies demonstrate cause and effect? Is there a difference between epidemiological cause and effect and medical or statistical cause and effect? Are there health models to support your argument?

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Do epidemiological studies demonstrate cause and effect?

Epidemiology studies examine populations, generally smaller subsets or samples of populations, in an attempt to determine whether there is an association between exposure to a substance or factor and subsequent disease or injury. (See, 2000) Epidemiologists attempt to determine what factors are associated with diseases, and what factors may protect people against disease. However, epidemiological studies can never prove causation; it cannot prove that a specific risk factor actually causes the disease being studied. Epidemiological evidence can only show that a risk factor is associated with a higher incidence of disease in the population exposed to that risk factor. The higher the correlation the more certain the association, but it cannot prove the causation.

Is there a difference between epidemiological cause and effect and medical ...

Solution Summary

The following posting discusses whether epidemiological studies demonstrate cause and effect. It also discusses the difference between cause and effect in epidemiology, medicine and statistics.

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