Epidemiology

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Original map by John Snow showing the clusters of cholera cases in the London epidemic of 1854.

Epidemiology is the study (or the science of the study) of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease in defined populations. It is the cornerstone of public health, and informs policy decisions and evidence-based medicine by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive medicine. Epidemiologists help with study design, collection and statistical analysis of data, and 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.

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