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62 Cards in this Set

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  • Back

Definition of a variable

Any quantity that varies. Any attribute, phenomenon, or event that can have different values

What is a continuous variable?

Type of variable that can have an infinite number of values within a specified range (height, weight)

The closer the points lay on a scatter plot, with respect to the straight line of best fit the stronger or weaker the association?


What is the overriding question that epidemiologists ask?

Whether a particular exposure is causally associated with a given outcome

Why is one to one causation rare?

Because many diseases have more than one causal factor

What is a negative association?

When the value of one variable increases, the value of the other variable decreases

What is a graphic plotting of distribution of cases by time of onset?

Epidemic Curve

What is a dose relationship?

One of the indicators used to assess a causal effect of a suspected exposure associated with an adverse health outcome

What is the definition of threshold?

The lowest dose at which a particular response occurs

What is the latency period?

Time period between initial exposure and measurable response

What is temporality?

We must observe the cause before the effect

What is the Hawthorne effect?

Participants behavioral changes as a result of their knowledge of being in a study

What is confounding?

The distortion of a measure of the effect of an exposure on an outcome due to the association of the exposure with other factors that influence the occurrence of the outcome

What is an ecologic study?

Studies the populations and groups rather than individuals

What does random assigning of subjects to a study group help control for?


What is ecologic fallacy

Association observed between variables on aggregate level that doesn't reflect at individual level

Used in case-control studies, a type of indirect measure of association between frequency of exposure and frequency of outcome is known as the...

Odds ratio

What is a prospective cohort study?

Subjects are classified by exposure then observed over time for new occurrences

What is relative risk?

Ratio of incidence rate of exposed to not exposed

Laws and regulations are developed as methods of policy implementation


Which phase of the policy cycle is considered the most important?

Problem definition/formulation/reformulation

What is the major weakness of disease screening? What must it be followed by?

Provides only preliminary info; a diagnostic confirmation of any positive results of a screening test is required

Reliability is to precision as validity is to...


What is legimitization?

Making policies legitimate or acceptable to norms of society

Although a measure that is invalid can be reliable is it possible for a measure that is unreliable to be valid?


What is a cost effective analysis?

Contrast cost and health effects of an intervention to see if it is economically worth it

Three ways an epidemiologist can contribute to health policy formation

1. Conducting own research

2. Being an expert witness

3. Serving on expert groups

What are policy actors?

Involved in policy formation (legislature, lobbyists, citizens)

What is an interest group?

Working on behalf of or in support of a cause

What is a dose response assessment?

Relationship of amount of exposure and unwanted occurrence

What is sensitivity?

The ability of a test to identify correctly all screened individuals who actually have the disease (can cause false negatives)

What is specificity?

The ability of the test to identify only nondiseased individuals who actually do not have the disease (can cause false positives)

What is the formula for sensitivity?


What is the formula for specificity?


What is reliability?

Ability of test to give consistent results on repeated trials

What is positive predictive value?

People screened positive by the test who actually have the disease

What is negative predictive value?

People screened negative that do not have the disease

What is the formula for positive predictive value?


What is the formula for negative predictive value?


Can stress be a good thing?

Yes, from positive life events

Smoking around babies can increase the chances of SIDS


What is social epidemiology?

Examines the social distribution and social determinants of states of health

What is behavioral epidemiology?

Study of the role of behavioral factors in health

What is lifestyle from an epidemiology perspective?

The choice of behavioral factors that affect how we live: these choices often are a function of social influences

What is molecular epidemiology?

Uses molecular markers in addition to genes to establish exposure-disease relationships

Can a gene be a marker for disease susceptibility but not confer risk on its own?


Potentially, global warming could cause disease carrying arthropods to move towards the North?


What does sewer epidemiology monitor?

Levels of excreted drugs in the sewer system in order to assess the level of illicit drug use in the community

What are genetic markers of susceptibility?

Host factor that enhances some step in the progression between exposure and disease such that the downstream step is more likely to occur

What are some examples of genetic markers of susceptibility?

Hemophilia, Tay-Sachs, Down Syndrome, Sickle Cell disease

What are Donora Pennsylvania and London 1948 known for?

Severe air pollution episodes

What are unintentional injuries?

Unanticipated event in traffic, the workplace, or a domestic or recreational setting

What is forensic epidemiology?

Investigation of public health problems caused by intentional or criminal acts.

Methods of forensic epidemiology

1. Detect unusual occurrence of disease

2. Use ongoing surveillance systems

3. Case identification and confirmation

4. Develop descriptive epidemiologic profile of a group of cases

Four possible outcomes of testing

True positive, false positive, true negative, false negative

What are the two types of errors and what do they represent?

Type 1 Error: False positive

Type 2 Error: False negative

What is a one sided test and two sided test?

One sided test tests for a difference in one direction (increase in cure rate) while two sided tests test for a difference in either direction (increase or decrease)

What is external validity?

Ones ability to generalize from the results of the study to an external population

What is a life table?

Show what probability each age has of dying before their next birthday

What are person years?

Sum of measurements of time of exposure

How to calculate odds ratio?


Odds ratio numbers meaning

>1 is positive association

<1 is negative, may be protective factor

=1 is no association