How can the disease pattern or health record be analysed in an area?Epidemiological analysis of disease pattern in an area.

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Epidemiology is the study of the spread of disease, and public health doctors routinely study patterns of disease and health in various sectors of the population.  One such sector is geographical, but other kinds of sectors include age, gender, race, culture, and diet. In the United States, epidemiologists rely on three primary methods of study: reports from physicians and hospitals about disease, reports from County Health Departments about disease, and research projects.  With the information available to them, public health practitioners try to identify patterns and trends in the spread of disease. A geographical pattern sometimes emerges, so that a doctor a few hundred years ago was able to identify a public well that spread disease by tracking down everyone who was ill and identifying that particular well as one used by many of those who were sick. Another kind of geographical trend that might be identified would be one in which a toxic chemical was creating a higher incidence of cancer in a neighborhood.  Some food-carrying diseases are geographically tracked down by tracking down farmers, distributors, supermarkets, and restaurants. There are many reporting mechanisms in place to help those who are responsible for public health. This can be a fascinating and important career.