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What is an attack rate?

a measure of risk of the incidence proportion often used for an outbreak that occurs over a relatively short time period


What is causation?

Connection between two events or states such that one produces or brings about the other


What are component causes?

something (an event, condition characteristic or combination of these) that, in conjunction with other factors, plays a role in producing an effect (e.g. the occurrence of disease). However it is neither necessary to cause disease, nor sufficient to cause disease on its own


What is confounding?

a mixing or muddling of effects that can occur when the relationship we are interested in is confused by the effect of something else - the 'confounder'


What is disease?

A disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.


What is a disease agent?

A biological pathogen that causes a disease, such as a virus, parasite, fungus, or bacterium.


What are epidemics?

A widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.


What is epidemiology?

The study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to control of health problems


What is illness?

A disease or period of sickness affecting the body or mind.


What is injury?

Damage to the body caused by external force


What is necessary cause?

A factor that is always required for a disease to occur


What are pandemics?

An outbreak of a disease that becomes prevalent over a whole country or the world


What is a population?

A population is all the organisms of the same group or species, which live in a particular geographical area, and have the capability of interbreeding.


What is public health?

The science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals


What are randomised control trials?

a study where people are allocated to the exposure and control groups at random; the best design to avoid confounding


What is relative risk?

the term relative risk is synonymous with risk ratio but in practice it is also commonly used to describe as rate ratio and, in some circumstances, an odds ratio since all three measures compare the amount of disease in one group relative to that in another


What are risk factors?

Any attribute, characteristic or exposure of an individual that increases the likelihood of developing a disease or injury.


What are standardised mortality rates?

the number of deaths observed in a study population over a specified period of time compared with the number that would have been expected if the study population had had the same mortality rates as a standard or comparison population


What is sufficient cause?

A factor that often (but doesn't always) leads to disease


What are the aims of public health?

- Improving the health of an entire population
- Reduce health inequalities in a population
- Step beyond the individual-level focus of mainstream medicine


Is eating poorly cooked chicken a sufficient or necessary cause of salmonella poisoning?



Is a Salmonella bacterial infection a sufficient or necessary cause of Salmonella poisoning?



What are the factors in causation?

- Pre-disposing (age, genetics, previous infection)
- Enabling/disabling (low income, poor nutrition = disabling, access to health care = enabling)
- Precipitating (exposure to disease agent)
- Reinforcing (repeated exposure, environment)


What are the Bradford Hill Criteria for establishing causation?

Temporal relationship
Strength of association
Strength of study design


What is the temporal relationship component of the Bradford Hill Criteria?

States that the cause of the event must precede (come before) the event itself


What is the plausibility component of the Bradford Hill Criteria?

States that the cause of the event must be consistent with general knowledge of the topic


What is the consistency component of the Bradford Hill Criteria?

States that the cause of the event must be consistent in repeated studies of the topic


What is the strength of association component of the Bradford Hill Criteria?

Looks at the likelihood of a factor leading to the outcome


What is the dose-response component of the Bradford Hill Criteria?

States that increased exposure to the cause leads to increased outcome


What is the reversibility component of the Bradford Hill Criteria?

States that removing the exposure will lead to no outcome