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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 1985;7(1): 1-3.
역학의 당면과제와 그 전망
Current issues in epidemiology
Current issues of epidemiology are a reflection of its continuing interface with other sciences, and expanding of its frontiers. But the more epidemiology changes, the more it remains the same. From a descriptive beginnings in the old civilizations, to reflective functions in the Greek period, to the evolution of a theory of contagion by the Arabs in the 10th~14th centries to the suppression of the theory and its replacement by the miasma hypothesis in the Dark ages, all the way to the brilliant epidemiologic work by Snow, Panum, Budd, Pateur and Koch. Thence more rigorous interface with other sciences occurred. With biostatistics analytical techniques evolved including cohort analysis, life table approach, survival analysis, risk analysis, multivariate analysis and use of models and, of course, the development of the case-control approach. With social sciences there were interactions between threats to internal validity and bias, the expansion of experimental designs and their use in clinical trials, the use of qualitative methods, and, by interface with behavioral sciences, other study facets evolved such as acceptability and compliance. With, demography, a new area of emphases was established namely population epidemiology including the theory of epidemiologic transition, family formation patterns and health, the child survival hypothesis and forecasting patterns of health and disease. Finally, by interface with management and administrative science and operations research thence evolved the area of operational epidemiology and health science research. The challenges to epidemiology will never wane and epidemiologists will always find ways of meeting these challenges and going even beyond them.


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