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Notes on the Contribution of Epidemiology to Health Risk Assessment.

NIOSH 1985 May:5 pages
The contribution of epidemiology to health risk assessment was discussed. Epidemiologic studies are said to play a central role in evaluating and managing health risks. Health risks can be evaluated from data obtained in case control, cohort, or experimental studies. Evidence obtained from epidemiological studies must be judged according to three criteria: the range of the study, biases, and the characteristics of any association inferred from the study. The attitudes of scientists toward epidemiologic data were discussed. Scientists show a wide range of attitudes ranging from those who are ready to advocate regulatory action on the basis of very slim evidence to those who will not act unless solid proof from well controlled experiments is available. Epidemiological studies should not only provide information about risk factors, but also about what risk factors are modifiable and what the impact of modifying them would be. The relationship between scientists and policymakers was discussed. It is considered debatable whether scientists should be actively involved in policy making. The author suggests that epidemiologists should be content when their findings are considered by policy makers and must realize that policy making involves considering other factors such as economic and political impacts.
Risk-analysis; Biostatistics; Legislation; Industrial-hygiene; Health-hazards; Health-protection; Risk-factors;
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Priority Area
Infectious Diseases; Disease and Injury;
Source Name
Proceedings of a Symposium on Epidemiology and Health Risk Assessment, Columbia, Maryland, May 14-16, 1985, Centers for Disease Control/NIOSH, 5 pages, 3 references