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Teaching EpidemiologyA guide for teachers in epidemiology, public health and clinical medicine$
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Jørn Olsen, Naomi Greene, Rodolfo Saracci, and Dimitrios Trichopoulos

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685004

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685004.001.0001

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Life course epidemiology

Life course epidemiology

Chapter:
(p.120) Chapter 9 Life course epidemiology
Source:
Teaching Epidemiology
Author(s):

Yoav Ben-Shlomo

Diana Kuh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685004.003.0009

Understanding the etiology of chronic diseases as well as behavioural patterns is enhanced by using a life course approach that specifically examines and tests for the effects of critical or sensitive periods of exposure and accumulation of risk models. It makes students appreciate the natural history of phenotypic traits by encouraging one to construct life course trajectories for continuous traits and then testing how these could be modified. Such an approach presents challenges to students in terms of study design, exposure measurement, and statistical methods. These ideas can also be used to consider social and gender inequalities in health and the relative importance of different public health interventions as well as time trends or cohort effects. This chapter present ideas at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels as to how a life course approach can be integrated with teaching materials from more conventional epidemiological and public health curricula.

Keywords:   life course approach, chronic disease, etiology, trajectories, sensitive periods, accumulation of risk

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