HSA535 Applications Of Epidemiology 3


Discuss the many types of epidemiologic study designs and touch on causal inference. 

Causal inference can be defined as the art and science of making a causal claim about the relationship between two factors – which is in many ways the heart of epidemiologic research. Under most circumstances if we see an association between an exposure and a health outcome of interest, we would like to answer the question: is one causing the other?

We care about causal inference because, ultimately, we want to intervene to improve public health, and interventions can be targeted on removing known causes of adverse health outcomes (or adding known causes of beneficial health outcomes).

That said, think of two examples of exposure/outcome relationships that you believe are causal, and describe why you believe that the relationship is a causal one. What points of evidence are or would be necessary in your evaluation of a causal relationship?   Feel free to be brief (2-3 sentences for each example).

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