Discussion Board and Response to Peers

Discussion Board and Response to Peers

After reviewing the assigned reading from Unit 7, identify the type of descriptive epidemiological study that is interesting to you and explain why. In your post, link to an example that you find from an article and describe how it applies to descriptive epidemiology.

Kelly Blevins posted Sep 18, 2020 1:15 PM

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The type of descriptive epidemiology I chose to do for this assignment was person. The study I chose to represent for person aimed to explore the characteristics of over two thousand patients diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver from January 2001 to December 2011. Age, ethnicity, and outcome of the patient were the main focuses for researchers in order to further understand cirrhosis diagnosis and cirrhosis-related mortality. Cirrhosis occurs when the liver is unable to produce healthy liver cells, therefore scar tissue forms instead. Scarring and fibrosis of the liver causes the liver to not work properly leading to many health complications.

From a study of 2,048 patients, the mean age of patients who were diagnosed with cirrhosis was 51 +/- 10 years old. The mode, or most common, cause of cirrhosis was alcoholism (n=921), followed by hepatitis C virus (n=719). The most common ethnic group that had cirrhosis was white/ Caucasian (n=802).

Upon further examination, researchers discovered other correlations among age and ethnic groups. Among the age groups, in-hospital mortality rate was greater in younger patients than older patients. Among the ethnic groups, Hispanic patients were more likely to be younger when diagnosed with cirrhosis, while African American patients were more likely to be diagnosed older.

Exploring people in descriptive epidemiology can uncover many correlations between characteristics of a person and illnesses, such as age/ethnicity and a cirrhosis diagnosis. By acknowledging these associations, researchers can then begin to ask why certain groups are more likely to develop illnesses, whether it is lifestyle, genetics, etc.


Here is an interesting distribution (age and cause) from the study below. An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc. Object name is nihms615906f1.jpg

Sajja, K. C., Mohan, D. P., & Rockey, D. C. (2014). Age and ethnicity in cirrhosis. Journal of investigative medicine : the official publication of the American Federation for Clinical Research62(7), 920–926. https://doi.org/10.1097/JIM.0000000000000106

Olivia Marsh posted Sep 18, 2020 2:13 PM

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Descriptive epidemiology consists of the 5 W’s. These are what, who, where, when, and why. I think the most interesting part of descriptive epidemiology is place. It has always been very interesting to me to see how different health issues occur differently in different places. This could be that it doesn’t happen at all in one country, it happens all over the place, or it only occurs in one place. It is common to see a disease outbreak in a certain place that doesn’t spread anywhere else. Sometimes it happens in one place then spreads everywhere. With everything going on in the world, COVID is a perfect example of place. The article I found shows an animated view of where COVID was spreading over time. It then shows how many cases in that state there have been. I found this pretty interesting to see just how it spread and how quickly day by day it spread. This is an example of place because it is showing exactly what places around the world COVID spread day by day. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/animated-world-map


Animated Maps. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/animated-world-map

Principles of Epidemiology. (2012, May 18). Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/csels/dsepd/ss1978/lesson1/section6.html

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