Epidemiology 832:335

Spring 2003

Professor Jane Miller

CHANGES AFTER APRIL 7 SNOW DAY

SHOWN IN PURPLE


Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:10-2:30

Civic Square Room 369

Office addresses

Room 160 Civic Square: 932-4101, ext. 676 (Mondays and Wednesdays only)

30 College Ave, Rm. 303 (CAC): 932-6730

Email: jem@rci.rutgers.edu (best way to reach me outside of office hours)

Office hours: Mondays, 11:30-12:30, Civic Square Room 160

Wednesdays, 2:30-4:30, Civic Square Room 160

or by appointment.

Student assistant: Shana Nichols; shanana@eden.rutgers.edu; office hours: Mondays, 2:30-4:00, CSB room 160.


Course overview: The course will introduce basic concepts of epidemiology, including the measurement of mortality and morbidity, common sources of data, and types and features of study design. Problem sets and written assignments are designed to provide practice in the skills presented in the lectures and readings. Computers will be used as part of these assignments to access the Internet for common sources of public health data, and to use spreadsheets for simple calculations and graphing. Assignments must be typed, double-spaced except for tables and figures, for which typing is an option you are encouraged to exercise. A written description of the article summary and oral presentation will be given later in the semester.

Due dates of assignments are marked "****" on the syllabus below. Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date shown. Late assignments will not be accepted. See me in advance if you have a religious or other obligation that conflicts with a due date and we will make alternative arrangements.


Grading will be determined as follows:

Problem sets:

5 at 5% each

25%

In-class project: investigating an epidemic

5%

Hour exams:

2 at 15% each

30%

Article critique

10%

Final exam

20%

Class participation

5%


Required reading: The required textbook is Gordis, Epidemiology second edition, which is available at the Rutgers University Bookstore. In addition, there is a packet of required readings and assignments to be purchased at Pequod Copies on Somerset Street. Assigned readings are to be completed before the pertinent lecture.

Supplementary readings

"Supercourse: Epidemiology, the Internet and World Health" at http://www.pitt.edu/~super1/index.htm . Recommended optional readings from this series are listed with pertinent lectures. Also see Coggon D, Rose G, and Barker DJP, Epidemiology for the Uninitiated, Fourth Edition. Available online at http://www.bmj.com/collections/epidem/epid.shtml

For an online medical dictionary, see http://cancerweb.ncl.ac.uk/omd/


Date

Topic

Assignments

1/22

Introduction

Required reading: Gordis, Chapter 1.

1/27

Population - concepts and sources of data

Required reading: Lecture notes "Population and its measurement"

1/29

Internet to access public health data - in class demonstration

Required reading: "Who, what, when, where?" and "Anatomy of a Table" from lecture note packet.

Start Problem Set #1 ;

data collection instructions.

2/3

****

Calculation of rates; sources of mortality data

Required reading: Gordis, pp. 42-51.

Start Problem Set #2 ;

mortality data collection notes.

Important numbers and patterns for epidemiology.

PROBLEM SET #1 DUE

2/5

Standardization of rates

Required readings:

  1. Gordis, pp. 51-54.
  2. Lecture notes on standardization of rates.

Optional reading: Epidemiology - Internet - Global Health lecture notes on standardization of rates. Available on-line at http://www.pitt.edu/~super1/lecture/lec0491/index.htm

2/10

****

Excel calculations and graphs - 3rd floor computer lab

Bring a diskette.

Start Problem Set #3 - to be handed out in class.

PROBLEM SET #2 DUE

2/12

Epidemiologic transition and cause of death

Required reading: Meade, M., F. Florin, and W. Gesler, 1988. Medical Epidemiology New York: The Guilford Press. Ch. 4, pp. 104-115.

Optional reading: Epidemiology - Internet - Global Health lecture notes on the epidemiological transition. Available on-line at http://www.pitt.edu/~super1/lecture/lec0022/index.htm

2/17

SNOW DAY

2/19

****

Morbidity measurement

Required reading:

  1. Gordis, pp. 31-41.
  2. Lecture notes on morbidity measurement.

Optional reading: Epidemiology - Internet - Global Health lecture notes on rates, ratios and proportions, slides #1-12. Available on-line at http://www.pitt.edu/~super1/lecture/lec0441/index.htm

PROBLEM SET #3 DUE

2/24

Person factors

Required reading:

  1. Duncan, DF. 1988. Epidemiology: Basis for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. New York, Macmillan. Chapter 8.
  2. Fingerhut, L.A., 1993. "Firearm Mortality among Children, Youth and Young Adults 1-34 Years of Age, Trends and Current status: United States, 1985-90," Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics no. 231. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics.

2/26

First hour exam

3/3

Place and time factors

Required reading:

  1. Duncan, DF. 1988. Epidemiology: Basis for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. New York, Macmillan. Chs. 9 and 10.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1997. "Update: Trends in AIDS Incidence, United States 1996 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 46(37):861-7.

Start Problem Set #4 - updated 2/26/03

Description of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention for PS 4

3/5

Overview of study design, logic of causality

Required reading:

  1. Lecture notes: "Overview of study design"
  2. Gordis, Chapter 13 ONLY the section on principles for assessing causation. Don't worry about details of different study design at this point. We'll be returning to them in the next few lectures.

3/10****

Review of statistics AND

Bias and confounding

Required reading:

  1. Lecture notes: "Review of statistics"
  2. Gordis, Chapter 14, sections on types of bias and on confounding (*SKIP* stratification and interaction).
  3. Michael, M., W.T. Boyce, and A.J. Wilcox, 1984, Biomedical Beastiary: An Epidemiologic Guide to Flaws and Fallacies in the Medical Literature. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. pp. 15-21, and 30-37.

PROBLEM SET #4 DUE

3/12

Experimental studies

Required reading:

  1. Gordis, Chapter 6 and pp. 120-126.
  2. Secker-Walker RH, Flynn BS, Solomon LJ, Skelly JM, Dorwaldt AL, Ashikaga T., 2000. "Helping Women Quit Smoking: Results of a Community Intervention Program," American Journal of Public Health 90(6):940-6.

3/24

Cohort studies

Required reading:

  1. Gordis, Chapter 8.
  2. Harris, T.B., R. Ballard-Barbasch, J. Madans, D.M. Makuc, and J.J. Feldman, 1993. "Overweight, Weight Loss, and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Older Women: The NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study," American Journal of Epidemiology 137(12):1318-1327.

Optional reading: Epidemiology - Internet - Global Health lecture notes on analytic studies, slides #7-14. Available on-line at http://www.pitt.edu/~super1/lecture/lec0561/index.htm

3/26

Case control studies

Required reading:

  1. Gordis, pp. 140-153.
  2. Hegemann, K.T., A.M. Fraser, R.P. Keaney, S.E. Moser, D.S. Nilasena, M. Sedlars, L. Higham-Gren, and J.L. Lyon, 1993. "The Effect of Age at Smoking Initiation on Lung Cancer Risk," Epidemiology 4(5):444-448.

3/31

Cross-sectional studies

Required reading:

  1. Gordis, pp. 153-155.
  2. Carrasquillo O, Carrasquillo AI, and Shea S., 2000. "Health Insurance Coverage of Immigrants Living in the United States: Differences by Citizenship Status and Country of Origin," American Journal of Public Health. 90(6):917-23.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1994. "Health Risk Behaviors Among Adolescents Who Do and Do Not Attend School - United States, 1992," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 43(8):129-132.

4/2

Second hour exam

 Click here for study hints on how to prepare for the exam.

4/7

Snow day L

 

4/9

Infectious disease epidemiology

Required reading: Gordis, Chapter 2.

Optional reading: Epidemiology - Internet - Global Health lecture notes on infectious disease epidemiology. Available on-line at http://www.pitt.edu/~super1/lecture/lec1191/index.htm

4/14

Investigating an epidemic

Required reading: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Steps of an outbreak investigation." Principles of Epidemiology, 2nd edition: An Introduction to Applied Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Pp. 353-386.

Optional reading: Epidemiology - Internet - Global Health lecture notes on "Investigating an outbreak, part I", slides 1-18 . Available on-line at http://www.pitt.edu/~super1/lecture/lec8401/index.htm

Start article review and critique assignment.

List of assigned articles by student.

4/16

****

In class project - investigating an epidemic *** ATTENDANCE REQUIRED***

Required reading: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Review exercises (outbreak). Principles of Epidemiology, 2nd edition: An Introduction to Applied Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Pp. 387-397.

Bring to class: assigned reading, lots of scrap paper, a calculator.

DUE AT BEGINNING OF CLASS: Questions 1-3, 5 and 6 in assigned reading for today.

DUE AT END OF CLASS: Working group notes and calculations for "Investigating an epidemic"

4/21

Chronic disease and screening

Required reading: Gordis, Chapter 4.

Optional but recommended: Epidemiology - Internet - Global Health lecture notes on screening. Available on-line at http://www.pitt.edu/~super1/lecture/lec0721/index.htm (skim slides #3-9).

Optional reading: Epidemiology - Internet - Global Health lecture notes on screening and disease prevention. Available on-line at http://www.pitt.edu/~super1/lecture/lec0591/index.htm

Start Problem Set #5

4/23

Measures of association and impact - attributable risk

Required reading: Gordis, Chapter 11.

4/28 ****

Review of study designs; critiquing an epidemiological article

Required reading:

  1. Lecture notes: "How to summarize a study" http://www.bmj.com/collections/epidem/epid.c.shtml
  2. "Review of study designs"

PROBLEM SET #5 DUE

4/30

Movie: "Outbreak" - Will be on final exam. 

5/5

In class work day - critiquing articles.

Bring a copy of the article you are critiquing, the handout on how to summarize a study, and an outline of the study and your critique.

NOON FRIDAY, MAY 9 ****

WRITTEN CRITIQUE OF EPIDEMIOLOGY ARTICLE DUE - ROOM 160 OR PROF. MILLER'S MAILBOX IN CIVIC SQUARE BUILDING

5/13

FINAL EXAM 12-3 p.m. 

 

Last updated 4/9/03. Jane Miller