Epidemiology: An epistemological perspective

  • Alfredo Morabia


The term “epidemiology” is a source of confusion about the nature of this discipline. For the public, “epidemiology” evokes a medical discipline that deals with large-scale outbreaks of infectious diseases. This was indeed its meaning in the first treatises which included “epidemiology” in their titles. In the 16th century the Spanish physician Angelerio published a study on plague entitled “Epidemiología” and in 1802 another Spanish physician, Villalba, wrote a compilation of epidemics and outbreaks over 13 centuries entitled “Epidemiología Española” (meaning Spanish epidemiology) (Pan American Health Organization, 1988, p. 3–4).


Lung Cancer Incidence Density Excess Death Develop Lung Cancer Epidemiologic Method 
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© Springer Basel AG 2004

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  • Alfredo Morabia

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