Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
the science concerned with the study of the factors determining and influencing the frequency and distribution of disease, injury, and other health-related events and their causes in a defined human population for the purpose of establishing programs to prevent and control their development and spread. Also, the sum of knowledge gained in such a study.
analytic epidemiology the second stage in an epidemiologic study, in which hypotheses generated in the descriptive phase are tested.
descriptive epidemiology the first stage in an epidemiologic study, in which a disease that has occurred is examined. Data necessary in this phase include time and place of occurrence and the characteristics of the persons affected. Tentative theories regarding the cause of the disease are advanced and a hypothesis is formulated.