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. [G. epidemios, epidemic, + logos, study]
- clinical e. the field concerned with applying epidemiological principles in a clinical setting.
- genetic e. the branch of e. that studies the role of genetic factors and their interactions with environmental factors in the occurrence of disease in various populations.
- molecular e. the use in epidemiologic studies of techniques of molecular biology such as DNA typing.

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ep·i·de·mi·ol·o·gy -jē n, pl -gies
1) a branch of medical science that deals with the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in a population
2) the sum of the factors controlling the presence or absence of a disease or pathogen
ep·i·de·mi·o·log·i·cal -.dē-mē-ə-'läj-i-kəl, -.dem-ē- also ep·i·de·mi·o·log·ic -ik adj
ep·i·de·mi·o·log·i·cal·ly -i-k(ə-)lē adv

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the study of the occurrence, distribution, and control of infectious and noninfectious diseases in populations, which is a basic part of public health medicine. Originally restricted to the study of epidemic infectious diseases, such as smallpox and cholera, it now covers all forms of disease that relate to the environment and ways of life. It thus includes the study of the links between smoking and cancer, and diet and coronary disease, as well as communicable disease.

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ep·i·de·mi·ol·o·gy (ep″ĭ-de″me-olґə-je) [epidemic + -logy] the science concerned with the study of the factors determining and influencing the frequency and distribution of disease, injury, and other health-related events and their causes in a defined human population for the purpose of establishing programs to prevent and control their development and spread. Also, the sum of knowledge gained in such a study.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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