Understanding the characteristics of person, place, and time is crucial for the practice of descriptive epidemiology. For each of these categories, describe the key characteristics and explain why these characteristics are important for assessing variations in health and disease.
PLEASE EXPLAIN WHETHER YOU AGREE WITH MY CLASSMATE RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE QUESTION AND WHY? (A MININUM OF 125 WORDS)
Person- Descriptive characteristics relating to age, sex/gender, marital status, race/ethnicity and religion are aspects that researchers consider when practicing descriptive epidemiology. These aspects may impact exposures to a disease through a person’s lifestyle, behavior, genetic predisposition or even access to healthcare. For instance, when it concerns age- it may impact a latency period of exposure to a disease or environmental factor then the subsequent illness’ symptoms coming forward. Age and sex/gender are usually one of the most major attributes for illness patterns.
Place- Place is considered for descriptive epidemiology due to the conditions of climate, dietary habits/food availability, cultural/religion factors as well as access to health care. Without a doubt, looking at the mapping of diseases, variations are seen across the globe.
Time- For time trends- researchers look to see cyclic fluctuations, point epidemics, secular time trends and clustering. I did a report for my website once on the trends of fatal measles outbreaks. These “fatal” outbreaks in history could be traced to certain times/conditions when the disease would cause fatalities rather than be milder in nature. So, fluctuations in the cycle of diseases show increases and decreases depending on whether the person’s lifestyle changes, climate changes, and when certain diseases have a higher virulence of an outbreak. Clustering is when a there is an unusual grouping of “health events” or a disease outbreak within a population. If you were to point it on a map- you could see a cluster of an outbreak.
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