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Towards an integrated epidemiological approach to occupational risks.

Schulte PA
Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Epidemiology and Occupational Risks, Braz, Austria, April 22-24, 1998. Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Vienna, Austria: International Section for Research, 1998 Apr; :76-80
Much of the recent criticism of epidemiological research is the result of it not being integrated with other sources of information. Too often the approach has been to identify risk factors without drawing on supporting biological information. Conversely, some epidemiological research is so involved with the assessment of biological mechanisms that it is far removed from providing any meaningful contribution to public and occupational health. The nature of occupational disease and injuries is also changing Many of the major single causes have been identified. Diseases and injuries that are the result of multiple or mixed exposures, weak exposures, or gene-environment-socio cultural interactions are not adequately addressed by current epidemiological methods. Six steps have been identified to enhance epidemiologic research on occupational diseases and injuries: 1. development of stricter criteria for what constitutes biological plausibility of an association; 2. development of new approaches to complex nonlinear mechanisms; 3. utilization of a multilevel approach from the genetic to social and ecosystem levels; 4. development of criteria for publication of negative studies: 5. utilization of qualitative information; and 6. identification of how specific epidemiologic research is related to population needs and preventive action.
Epidemiology; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis; Biomarkers; Qualitative-analysis; Occupational-diseases; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-health; Occupational-hazards; Work-environment; Worker-health
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Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Epidemiology and Occupational Risks, Braz, Austria, April 22-24,1998
Page last reviewed: July 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division