• epidemiology
  • 1) The study of the mass aspects of disease. 2) The study of the occurrence and distribution of disease and injury specified by person, place, and time.
Abstract from DBPedia
    Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where), patterns and determinants of health and disease conditions in a defined population. It is a cornerstone of public health, and shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare. Epidemiologists help with study design, collection, and statistical analysis of data, amend interpretation and dissemination of results (including peer review and occasional systematic review). Epidemiology has helped develop methodology used in clinical research, public health studies, and, to a lesser extent, basic research in the biological sciences. Major areas of epidemiological study include disease causation, transmission, outbreak investigation, disease surveillance, environmental epidemiology, forensic epidemiology, occupational epidemiology, screening, biomonitoring, and comparisons of treatment effects such as in clinical trials. Epidemiologists rely on other scientific disciplines like biology to better understand disease processes, statistics to make efficient use of the data and draw appropriate conclusions, social sciences to better understand proximate and distal causes, and engineering for exposure assessment. Epidemiology, literally meaning "the study of what is upon the people", is derived from Greek epi 'upon, among', demos 'people, district', and logos 'study, word, discourse', suggesting that it applies only to human populations. However, the term is widely used in studies of zoological populations (veterinary epidemiology), although the term "epizoology" is available, and it has also been applied to studies of plant populations (botanical or plant disease epidemiology). The distinction between "epidemic" and "endemic" was first drawn by Hippocrates, to distinguish between diseases that are "visited upon" a population (epidemic) from those that "reside within" a population (endemic). The term "epidemiology" appears to have first been used to describe the study of epidemics in 1802 by the Spanish physician Villalba in Epidemiología Española. Epidemiologists also study the interaction of diseases in a population, a condition known as a syndemic. The term epidemiology is now widely applied to cover the description and causation of not only epidemic, infectious disease, but of disease in general, including related conditions. Some examples of topics examined through epidemiology include as high blood pressure, mental illness and obesity. Therefore, this epidemiology is based upon how the pattern of the disease causes change in the function of human beings.

    疫学(えきがく、英語:Epidemiology)は、個人ではなく集団を対象として病気(疾病)の発生原因や流行状態、予防などを研究する学問。元々は伝染病を研究対象として始まったが、その後、公害病や事故などの人災、地震などの天災、交通事故、がんなど生活習慣病など、研究調査対象は多様化している。疫学は公衆衛生と予防医学への基礎を提供する領域として、また、疾患への危険要因および最適な治療方針決定への実証的な根拠に基づく医療(evidence-based medicine, EBM)として評価されている。 伝染性および非伝染性の病気を含んだ疫学の研究範囲は突発的流行疾患の医学的調査研究から、研究計画、データ収集と解析、統計的モデルの考案による仮説検定など統計学的研究に及ぶ。疫学研究では、分析的手法として概念的な単位を微視的なものではなく生物一個体に置く。集団における病気を持つ個体数の測定により、流行状態を(有病割合やなど)として数量化する。また疫学は疾患プロセスを理解するために生物学を利用し、危険因子の近因と遠因を探るために社会学と哲学を利用する。 疫学は初期に急性疾患(感染症)の流行の制御に大きな成果をあげた。この成果に伴い社会の疾病構造が急性疾患から慢性疾患(生活習慣病)に変化したため、現在では長期間にわたる流行形態をとる慢性疾患の制御の研究も行う。 また、疫学は集団生活を営む動物(例えば家畜、産業動物)に流行する病気にも適用され、獣医学の分野において多用される。ただし、集団として捉えることが困難な野生動物に疫学は適用し難い。

    (Source: http://dbpedia.org/resource/Epidemiology)