Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Epidemiology: What Is It and Why Should Adult Children Know About It? With Link to a Related Supercourse

From the 14th January posting at As Our Parents Age – Timely Topics for Adult Children

It happens over and over again as I listen to the radio or read the news. I hear about an aging parent issue or a disease that is increasing in magnitude. Or sometime it’s a health issue that is affecting certain groups of people or a new bit of research the describes problems with an intervention — one that I thought was working well. Invariably these stories make me ask why? Sometimes I ask a more personal question, “If that seems to work for me, how come researchers say is isn’t effective?”

In just about every case, I answer my question by learning more about the study of epidemiology — a field that explores and collects data about how diseases specifically and health issues in general occur and affect people and in certain places. Epidemiology measures by some period of time. This short video from the Centers from Disease Control explains more.

Epidemiology can be difficult to understand, especially because people, including me, tend to personalize the issues. Here are just a few questions to illustrate this personalization.

  • What risk factors for exposure to hazards contribute to aging parent falls as individuals age (in fact we are talking here about people over 60)? Why don’t people worry environmental health problems  and do things early on to prevent falls?
  • How come after years and years, I’m suddenly told that yearly mammograms are less important?
  • Why are men being cautioned to reconsider using prostate tests for routine cancer screening?
  • Why are older seniors now being told to consider getting fewer screening tests such as colonoscopies as they age?

Click here to read the rest of the blog item

Related Resource

Supercourse: Epidemiology, Global Health, and the Internet

Supercourse is a repository of lectures on global health and prevention designed to improve the teaching of prevention. Supercourse has a network of over 56000 scientists in 174 countries who are sharing for free a library of 5050 lectures in 31 languages.

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January 17, 2012 - Posted by | Consumer Health, health care | , , ,

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