The Importance of Epidemiological Studies

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The Importance of Epidemiological Studies Epidemiological studies provide some of the most important foundational information in the modern practice of medicine, and epidemiology can be thought of as one of the most basic and necessary sciences in the medical field (Feigin & Howard, 2008). Originally used in 1873 to mean the "study of epidemics," the word "epidemiology" comes from the Greek works epi (among or upon), demos (people of district) and logy (study), meaning the study of diseases among the people (Online Etymology Dictionary, 2012). The term is now used in a fashion that more closely approximates the original Greek meaning of the word, involving the study of the prevalence and spread of diseases among populations generally not just events identified as epidemics, as the term implied when first used in English (Online Etymology Dictionary, 2012; Feigin & Howard, 2008). Even non-communicable diseases can be studies from an epidemiological perspective, and indeed some major breakthroughs in the study of such diseases have been made by studies using the epidemiological perspective and epidemiological techniques (Feigin & Howard, 2008). Population studies of strokes, for instance, have led to significant enough new understandings of these events to lead to the re-organization of the peer-reviewed journal Strokes to include a section specifically devoted to population-based studies (Feigin & Howard, 2008). This is just one example of the immense importance of
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