Types of Descriptive Epidemiology Responses

After reviewing the assigned reading from Unit 7, identify the type of descriptive epidemiological study that is interesting to you and explain why. In your post, link to an example that you find from an article and describe how it applies to descriptive epidemiology.

Kelly Blevins posted Sep 18, 2020 1:15 PM

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The type of descriptive epidemiology I chose to do for this assignment was person. The study I chose to represent for person aimed to explore the characteristics of over two thousand patients diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver from January 2001 to December 2011. Age, ethnicity, and outcome of the patient were the main focuses for researchers in order to further understand cirrhosis diagnosis and cirrhosis-related mortality. Cirrhosis occurs when the liver is unable to produce healthy liver cells, therefore scar tissue forms instead. Scarring and fibrosis of the liver causes the liver to not work properly leading to many health complications.

From a study of 2,048 patients, the mean age of patients who were diagnosed with cirrhosis was 51 +/- 10 years old. The mode, or most common, cause of cirrhosis was alcoholism (n=921), followed by hepatitis C virus (n=719). The most common ethnic group that had cirrhosis was white/ Caucasian (n=802).

Upon further examination, researchers discovered other correlations among age and ethnic groups. Among the age groups, in-hospital mortality rate was greater in younger patients than older patients. Among the ethnic groups, Hispanic patients were more likely to be younger when diagnosed with cirrhosis, while African American patients were more likely to be diagnosed older.

Exploring people in descriptive epidemiology can uncover many correlations between characteristics of a person and illnesses, such as age/ethnicity and a cirrhosis diagnosis. By acknowledging these associations, researchers can then begin to ask why certain groups are more likely to develop illnesses, whether it is lifestyle, genetics, etc.

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