Population Research

Human health and disease reflect the body’s response to environmental factors, such as infectious agents, chemical exposures, lifestyle, and social conditions. Collecting and analyzing human genetic data in population-based research can help us interpret variations in health and disease among people and across populations. This knowledge can help us identify the causes and effects of diseases and find groups of people at increased risk.

The basic science of public health genomics is “human genome epidemiology,” the set of methods for collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing data on the distribution of gene variants, gene-disease associations, and gene-environment and gene-gene interactions. Thanks to the genome-based tools now available to public health researchers, we can use genetic information to study exposures, susceptibilities, and health effects.

CDC Activities