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Iatreia

Print version ISSN 0121-0793

Abstract

ZULIANI ARANGO, Liliana. Contribution of epidemiology to collective health. Iatreia [online]. 2010, vol.23, n.4, pp.354-361. ISSN 0121-0793.

This essay is an attempt to identify some of the contributions that epidemiology has made to collective health, to evaluate their relationship, and to promote the academic reflection on the latter as a field of study permeated by different disciplines, among them critical epidemiology. The approaches and study objects of epidemiology, and its contributions to consolidation of collective health, are analyzed from a historical perspective. Epidemiology has passed through different moments, namely: the traditional one subordinated to clinical knowledge and devoted to study the etiology of disease, and the contemporary, critical one, that tries to correlate the clinical, social, cultural and political aspects of the health-disease process in a historical context. The latter rests on a tripod made up of clinics, statistics and social medicine, and has made the most significant contributions to collective health.

Keywords : Collective health; Epidemiology; Etiology; Public health; Risk factors; Social medicine.

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