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Flashcards in The Epidemiological Approach Deck (12):
1

What is epidemiology briefly?

Finding causes of disease and preventing disease

2

Percival Potts noticed that a high proportion of his patients with scrotal cancer were/had been chimney sweeps. These results were limited to Britain. Why?

The difference was that British chimney sweeps did not
bathe regularly compared to chimney sweeps in Germany for example.

3

Why is lung cancer more common in men?

More exposure to pollution e.g. due to occupation
Smoke more

4

What type of study is used to investigate the relationship between smoking and lung cancer?

Prospective cohort study

5

What are the problems with a cohort study? (3)

Expensive
Lengthy
Need very large numbers to draw firm conclusions

6

What type of study is quicker than a cohort study?

Case control study

7

How can the relationship between saturated fat intake and ischaemic heart disease be assessed?

A study to assess the link between saturated fat intake and serum cholesterol, and a study to assess the link between serum cholesterol and IHD. Together they show the relationship between fat intake and IHD.

8

What is PKU?

Phenylketonuria, an inborn error of metabolism in which there is a congenital lack of the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase.

9

What does phenylalanine hydroxylase do?

Converts phenylalanine to tyrosine

10

How can PKU be prevented?

Restricting dietary phenylalanine

11

If...
Anti-platelet drug (aspirin) prevents 30% of cases of heart disease
Cholesterol lowering drug (statin) prevents 60%
Blood pressure lowering drug prevents 20%
How many cases can be prevented by all three drugs together?

78%

Working out:
100 cases of the disease.
30 would be prevented by aspirin.
This leaves 70, of which 60% would be
prevented by the statin = 42 cases.
This leaves 28, of which 20% would be
prevented by the blood pressure lowering drug = 6.
30 + 42 + 6 = 78
Therefore 78% of cases prevented.

12

What is the definition of a cause of a disease?

A factor that is associated with the disease so that if the
intensity or frequency of the factor in a population is changed, the frequency of the disease also changes.