Current Topics in Occupational Epidemiology PDF
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Occupational epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of illness and injury related to the work environment. These illnesses and injuries are preventable, and studying their epidemiology allows an evidence-based approach to prevention by policymakers. Furthermore, harmful work exposures can be conceptualized as a ‘natural experiment’ in the causation of illness and injury, because the workplace usually has much better-defined levels and timing of exposure than in the general community. Their study can therefore illuminate the causes and prevention of ill health in general. Work is also beneficial, and worklessness harmful, and occupational psychosocial ‘exposures’ and outcomes are increasingly studied.
This book brings together experts in occupational epidemiology to cover topics of current interest. Traditional methods can be used to study ‘new’ occupational diseases, as well as increase our understanding of the ‘old’. New populations have come under study recently, such as the military, historically a group studied mainly by specialist researchers. Major secular trends in society mean that occupational epidemiological methods are now applied to issues such as the ageing workforce, return to work after illness, and migration of workers. The epidemiological approach can be extended to new data sources, such as surveillance systems. The high value of data from occupational epidemiology is shown in large-scale efforts to make the best use of data by pooling and by systematic reviews, and by their use in burden of disease studies. New paradigms and concepts underpin and sharpen statistical analyses, and the increasing application of health economic analyses will strengthen communication with policymakers.
The book is not a textbook of occupational epidemiology, nor does it aim to provide a fully comprehensive account of all possible current topics in occupational epidemiology. We hope that it will bring to a readership of specialists and non-specialists just some of the interesting areas in which occupational epidemiologists are active today.
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