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A Biologic Approach to Environmental Assessment and Epidemiology$
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Thomas J. Smith and David Kriebel

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195141566

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195141566.001.0001

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Disease Process Models

Disease Process Models

Chapter:
(p.158) 6 Disease Process Models
Source:
A Biologic Approach to Environmental Assessment and Epidemiology
Author(s):

Thomas J. Smith

David Kriebel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195141566.003.0006

This chapter shows how we can use basic descriptive information about the time course of observed biological responses and reasonable estimates of the time profile of tissue concentrations to develop summary dose metrics that can be used to study quantitative exposure-response relationships. Disease process models are highly simplified versions of the true complexity of biologic pathways. Whether or not the simplification is worthwhile should be tested with empirical data. If the proposed model does not fit the observed disease time course, then the model may be wrong. This will occur because the hypothesized process model is not appropriate for humans with these environmental exposures, because the model has been constructed or applied incorrectly, or because the data are biased or confounded. But if the data are accurate and the hypothesis about the nature of the exposure-response process is reasonably correct, then the predicted time course of exposure, dose, and responses should fit the observed data.

Keywords:   exposure-response relationships, exposure assessment, biological response, epidemiology, disease process models

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