Definition and Limitation of Epidemiology

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Definition of Epidemiology is a study of disease spread and the determinants that influence the disease.
Epidemiology is originally defined as a study of epidemics. It means that epidemiology only studies about infectious diseases, but in the subsequent development, it also studies non-infectious diseases, so that today epidemiology can be defined as a study of the disease spread in humans in the environment context. It also includes the study of disease patterns and the search for the determinants of the disease.
Epidemiology limitation should include at least three elements:
1. Including All Diseases
Epidemiology studies all diseases, both infectious and non-infectious diseases, such as cancer, nutritional deficiency diseases, traffic accidents and work accidents, mental illness and so on.
Even in developed countries, epidemiology also includes health service activities.
2. Population
If medical clinic is oriented in individual diseases description, epidemiology focuses on the distribution of disease in the population (community) or group.
3. Ecological Approach
The frequency and distribution of disease are studied from the background on overall human environment in physical, biological and social environment. This is meant by ecological approach.

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