Epidemiology is the science that involves in the studies of patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is the cornerstone of public health, and informs policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare. Epidemiologists help with study design, collection and statistical analysis of data, and interpretation and dissemination of results. Epidemiology has helped develop methodology used in clinical research, public health studies and, to a lesser extent, basic research in the biological sciences .Epidemiology is derived from Greek word epi, means ""upon or among"", demos which means ""people or district"", and logos, means ""study, which suggests that it applies only to human populations. However, the term is widely used in studies of zoological populationâs veterinary epidemiology, although the term ""epizoology"" is available, and it has also been applied to studies of plant populations botanical or plant disease epidemiology. The distinction between ""epidemic"" and ""endemic"" was first drawn by Hippocrates, to distinguish between diseases that are ""visited upon"" a population (epidemic) from those that ""reside within"" a population (endemic).
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Last date updated on June, 2014