Any deviation of results or inferences from the truth, or processes leading to such deviation. Bias can result from several sources: one-sided or systematic variations in measurement from the true value (systematic error); flaws in study design; deviation of inferences, interpretations, or analyses based on flawed data or data collection; etc. There is no sense of prejudice or subjectivity implied in the assessment of bias under these conditions.
The application of molecular biology to the answering of epidemiological questions. The examination of patterns of changes in DNA to implicate particular carcinogens and the use of molecular markers to predict which individuals are at highest risk for a disease are common examples.
The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from PREVALENCE, which refers to all cases, new or old, in the population at a given time.
The influence of study results on the chances of publication and the tendency of investigators, reviewers, and editors to submit or accept manuscripts for publication based on the direction or strength of the study findings. Publication bias has an impact on the interpretation of clinical trials and meta-analyses. Bias can be minimized by insistence by editors on high-quality research, thorough literature reviews, acknowledgement of conflicts of interest, modification of peer review practices, etc.
A cancer registry mandated under the National Cancer Act of 1971 to operate and maintain a population-based cancer reporting system, reporting periodically estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in the United States. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program is a continuing project of the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Among its goals, in addition to assembling and reporting cancer statistics, are the monitoring of annual cancer incident trends and the promoting of studies designed to identify factors amenable to cancer control interventions. (From National Cancer Institute, NIH Publication No. 91-3074, October 1990)
The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from INCIDENCE, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time.
An aspect of personal behavior or lifestyle, environmental exposure, or inborn or inherited characteristic, which, on the basis of epidemiologic evidence, is known to be associated with a health-related condition considered important to prevent.
Confounding Factors (Epidemiology)
Factors that can cause or prevent the outcome of interest, are not intermediate variables, and are not associated with the factor(s) under investigation. They give rise to situations in which the effects of two processes are not separated, or the contribution of causal factors cannot be separated, or the measure of the effect of exposure or risk is distorted because of its association with other factors influencing the outcome of the study.
Epidemiologic Research Design
The form and structure of analytic studies in epidemiologic and clinical research.
Age as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or the effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from AGING, a physiological process, and TIME FACTORS which refers only to the passage of time.
A set of statistical methods used to group variables or observations into strongly inter-related subgroups. In epidemiology, it may be used to analyze a closely grouped series of events or cases of disease or other health-related phenomenon with well-defined distribution patterns in relation to time or place or both.
Bacterial Typing Techniques
Procedures for identifying types and strains of bacteria. The most frequently employed typing systems are BACTERIOPHAGE TYPING and SEROTYPING as well as bacteriocin typing and biotyping.
Sequence Analysis, DNA
Reproducibility of Results
The statistical reproducibility of measurements (often in a clinical context), including the testing of instrumentation or techniques to obtain reproducible results. The concept includes reproducibility of physiological measurements, which may be used to develop rules to assess probability or prognosis, or response to a stimulus; reproducibility of occurrence of a condition; and reproducibility of experimental results.
Studies used to test etiologic hypotheses in which inferences about an exposure to putative causal factors are derived from data relating to characteristics of persons under study or to events or experiences in their past. The essential feature is that some of the persons under study have the disease or outcome of interest and their characteristics are compared with those of unaffected persons.
Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
Gel electrophoresis in which the direction of the electric field is changed periodically. This technique is similar to other electrophoretic methods normally used to separate double-stranded DNA molecules ranging in size up to tens of thousands of base-pairs. However, by alternating the electric field direction one is able to separate DNA molecules up to several million base-pairs in length.
A technique for identifying individuals of a species that is based on the uniqueness of their DNA sequence. Uniqueness is determined by identifying which combination of allelic variations occur in the individual at a statistically relevant number of different loci. In forensic studies, RESTRICTION FRAGMENT LENGTH POLYMORPHISM of multiple, highly polymorphic VNTR LOCI or MICROSATELLITE REPEAT loci are analyzed. The number of loci used for the profile depends on the ALLELE FREQUENCY in the population.
Maleness or femaleness as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from SEX CHARACTERISTICS, anatomical or physiological manifestations of sex, and from SEX DISTRIBUTION, the number of males and females in given circumstances.
Studies in which subsets of a defined population are identified. These groups may or may not be exposed to factors hypothesized to influence the probability of the occurrence of a particular disease or other outcome. Cohorts are defined populations which, as a whole, are followed in an attempt to determine distinguishing subgroup characteristics.
Polymerase Chain Reaction
In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.
Data Interpretation, Statistical
The qualitative or quantitative estimation of the likelihood of adverse effects that may result from exposure to specified health hazards or from the absence of beneficial influences. (Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 1988)
Using MOLECULAR BIOLOGY techniques, such as DNA SEQUENCE ANALYSIS; PULSED-FIELD GEL ELECTROPHORESIS; and DNA FINGERPRINTING, to identify, classify, and compare organisms and their subtypes.
Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
Animate or inanimate sources which normally harbor disease-causing organisms and thus serve as potential sources of disease outbreaks. Reservoirs are distinguished from vectors (DISEASE VECTORS) and carriers, which are agents of disease transmission rather than continuing sources of potential disease outbreaks.
Observation of a population for a sufficient number of persons over a sufficient number of years to generate incidence or mortality rates subsequent to the selection of the study group.
The exposure to potentially harmful chemical, physical, or biological agents in the environment or to environmental factors that may include ionizing radiation, pathogenic organisms, or toxic chemicals.
The relating of causes to the effects they produce. Causes are termed necessary when they must always precede an effect and sufficient when they initiate or produce an effect. Any of several factors may be associated with the potential disease causation or outcome, including predisposing factors, enabling factors, precipitating factors, reinforcing factors, and risk factors.
Disease Transmission, Infectious
Studies which start with the identification of persons with a disease of interest and a control (comparison, referent) group without the disease. The relationship of an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing diseased and non-diseased persons with regard to the frequency or levels of the attribute in each group.
A country spanning from central Asia to the Pacific Ocean.
Molecular Sequence Data
Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.
Multilocus Sequence Typing
The largest of the continents. It was known to the Romans more specifically as what we know today as Asia Minor. The name comes from at least two possible sources: from the Assyrian asu (to rise) or from the Sanskrit usa (dawn), both with reference to its being the land of the rising sun, i.e., eastern as opposed to Europe, to the west. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p82 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p34)
Communicable Diseases, Emerging
The ratio of two odds. The exposure-odds ratio for case control data is the ratio of the odds in favor of exposure among cases to the odds in favor of exposure among noncases. The disease-odds ratio for a cohort or cross section is the ratio of the odds in favor of disease among the exposed to the odds in favor of disease among the unexposed. The prevalence-odds ratio refers to an odds ratio derived cross-sectionally from studies of prevalent cases.
Studies in which the presence or absence of disease or other health-related variables are determined in each member of the study population or in a representative sample at one particular time. This contrasts with LONGITUDINAL STUDIES which are followed over a period of time.
Sudden outbreaks of a disease in a country or region not previously recognized in that area, or a rapid increase in the number of new cases of a previous existing endemic disease. Epidemics can also refer to outbreaks of disease in animal or plant populations.
Parliamentary democracy located between France on the northeast and Portugual on the west and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Microbial Sensitivity Tests
Meta-Analysis as Topic
A quantitative method of combining the results of independent studies (usually drawn from the published literature) and synthesizing summaries and conclusions which may be used to evaluate therapeutic effectiveness, plan new studies, etc., with application chiefly in the areas of research and medicine.
Public Health Practice
The activities and endeavors of the public health services in a community on any level.
Collection, analysis, and interpretation of data about the frequency, distribution, and consequences of disease or health conditions, for use in the planning, implementing, and evaluating public health programs.
A republic in central Africa lying east of CHAD and the CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC and west of NIGERIA. The capital is Yaounde.
INFLAMMATION of any segment of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT from ESOPHAGUS to RECTUM. Causes of gastroenteritis are many including genetic, infection, HYPERSENSITIVITY, drug effects, and CANCER.
Sensitivity and Specificity
A set of three nucleotides in a protein coding sequence that specifies individual amino acids or a termination signal (CODON, TERMINATOR). Most codons are universal, but some organisms do not produce the transfer RNAs (RNA, TRANSFER) complementary to all codons. These codons are referred to as unassigned codons (CODONS, NONSENSE).
European Continental Ancestry Group
Individuals whose ancestral origins are in the continent of Europe.
Statistical models which describe the relationship between a qualitative dependent variable (that is, one which can take only certain discrete values, such as the presence or absence of a disease) and an independent variable. A common application is in epidemiology for estimating an individual's risk (probability of a disease) as a function of a given risk factor.
Drug Resistance, Bacterial
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
Systematic gathering of data for a particular purpose from various sources, including questionnaires, interviews, observation, existing records, and electronic devices. The process is usually preliminary to statistical analysis of the data.
Extensive collections, reputedly complete, of facts and data garnered from material of a specialized subject area and made available for analysis and application. The collection can be automated by various contemporary methods for retrieval. The concept should be differentiated from DATABASES, BIBLIOGRAPHIC which is restricted to collections of bibliographic references.
The systematic surveying, mapping, charting, and description of specific geographical sites, with reference to the physical features that were presumed to influence health and disease. Medical topography should be differentiated from EPIDEMIOLOGY in that the former emphasizes geography whereas the latter emphasizes disease outbreaks.
Communicable Disease Control
The presence of viable bacteria circulating in the blood. Fever, chills, tachycardia, and tachypnea are common acute manifestations of bacteremia. The majority of cases are seen in already hospitalized patients, most of whom have underlying diseases or procedures which render their bloodstreams susceptible to invasion.
Procedures for finding the mathematical function which best describes the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. In linear regression (see LINEAR MODELS) the relationship is constrained to be a straight line and LEAST-SQUARES ANALYSIS is used to determine the best fit. In logistic regression (see LOGISTIC MODELS) the dependent variable is qualitative rather than continuously variable and LIKELIHOOD FUNCTIONS are used to find the best relationship. In multiple regression, the dependent variable is considered to depend on more than a single independent variable.
Continental Population Groups
The presence of co-existing or additional diseases with reference to an initial diagnosis or with reference to the index condition that is the subject of study. Comorbidity may affect the ability of affected individuals to function and also their survival; it may be used as a prognostic indicator for length of hospital stay, cost factors, and outcome or survival.
Aspects of health and disease related to travel.
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Virus diseases caused by CALICIVIRIDAE. They include HEPATITIS E; VESICULAR EXANTHEMA OF SWINE; acute respiratory infections in felines, rabbit hemorrhagic disease, and some cases of gastroenteritis in humans.
Geographic Information Systems
The largest country in North America, comprising 10 provinces and three territories. Its capital is Ottawa.
Monitoring of rate of occurrence of specific conditions to assess the stability or change in health levels of a population. It is also the study of disease rates in a specific cohort such as in a geographic area or population subgroup to estimate trends in a larger population. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)
A range of values for a variable of interest, e.g., a rate, constructed so that this range has a specified probability of including the true value of the variable.
A country in northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula Its capital is Cairo.
A set of techniques used when variation in several variables has to be studied simultaneously. In statistics, multivariate analysis is interpreted as any analytic method that allows simultaneous study of two or more dependent variables.
A theorem in probability theory named for Thomas Bayes (1702-1761). In epidemiology, it is used to obtain the probability of disease in a group of people with some characteristic on the basis of the overall rate of that disease and of the likelihood of that characteristic in healthy and diseased individuals. The most familiar application is in clinical decision analysis where it is used for estimating the probability of a particular diagnosis given the appearance of some symptoms or test result.
Any infection acquired in the community, that is, contrasted with those acquired in a health care facility (CROSS INFECTION). An infection would be classified as community-acquired if the patient had not recently been in a health care facility or been in contact with someone who had been recently in a health care facility.
A class of statistical procedures for estimating the survival function (function of time, starting with a population 100% well at a given time and providing the percentage of the population still well at later times). The survival analysis is then used for making inferences about the effects of treatments, prognostic factors, exposures, and other covariates on the function.
Tandem arrays of moderately repetitive, short (10-60 bases) DNA sequences which are found dispersed throughout the GENOME, at the ends of chromosomes (TELOMERES), and clustered near telomeres. Their degree of repetition is two to several hundred at each locus. Loci number in the thousands but each locus shows a distinctive repeat unit.
Review Literature as Topic
Published materials which provide an examination of recent or current literature. Review articles can cover a wide range of subject matter at various levels of completeness and comprehensiveness based on analyses of literature that may include research findings. The review may reflect the state of the art. It also includes reviews as a literary form.
The former British crown colony located off the southeast coast of China, comprised of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and New Territories. The three sites were ceded to the British by the Chinese respectively in 1841, 1860, and 1898. Hong Kong reverted to China in July 1997. The name represents the Cantonese pronunciation of the Chinese xianggang, fragrant port, from xiang, perfume and gang, port or harbor, with reference to its currents sweetened by fresh water from a river west of it.
Critical and exhaustive investigation or experimentation, having for its aim the discovery of new facts and their correct interpretation, the revision of accepted conclusions, theories, or laws in the light of newly discovered facts, or the practical application of such new or revised conclusions, theories, or laws. (Webster, 3d ed)
Statistics as Topic
Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
Emigration and Immigration
African Continental Ancestry Group
Individuals whose ancestral origins are in the continent of Africa.
Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
Federal program, created by Public Law 89-97, Title XVIII-Health Insurance for the Aged, a 1965 amendment to the Social Security Act, that provides health insurance benefits to persons over the age of 65 and others eligible for Social Security benefits. It consists of two separate but coordinated programs: hospital insurance (MEDICARE PART A) and supplementary medical insurance (MEDICARE PART B). (Hospital Administration Terminology, AHA, 2d ed and A Discursive Dictionary of Health Care, US House of Representatives, 1976)
Age of Onset
Notification or reporting by a physician or other health care provider of the occurrence of specified contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV infections to designated public health agencies. The United States system of reporting notifiable diseases evolved from the Quarantine Act of 1878, which authorized the US Public Health Service to collect morbidity data on cholera, smallpox, and yellow fever; each state in the US has its own list of notifiable diseases and depends largely on reporting by the individual health care provider. (From Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)
The restriction of a characteristic behavior, anatomical structure or physical system, such as immune response; metabolic response, or gene or gene variant to the members of one species. It refers to that property which differentiates one species from another but it is also used for phylogenetic levels higher or lower than the species.
Animals which have become adapted through breeding in captivity to a life intimately associated with humans. They include animals domesticated by humans to live and breed in a tame condition on farms or ranches for economic reasons, including LIVESTOCK (specifically CATTLE; SHEEP; HORSES; etc.), POULTRY; and those raised or kept for pleasure and companionship, e.g., PETS; or specifically DOGS; CATS; etc.
Intensive Care Units
Diseases which have one or more of the following characteristics: they are permanent, leave residual disability, are caused by nonreversible pathological alteration, require special training of the patient for rehabilitation, or may be expected to require a long period of supervision, observation, or care. (Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)
A highly contagious infectious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (HERPESVIRUS 3, HUMAN). It usually affects children, is spread by direct contact or respiratory route via droplet nuclei, and is characterized by the appearance on the skin and mucous membranes of successive crops of typical pruritic vesicular lesions that are easily broken and become scabbed. Chickenpox is relatively benign in children, but may be complicated by pneumonia and encephalitis in adults. (From Dorland, 27th ed)