Epidemiology Matters

Epidemiology Matters offers a new approach to understanding and identifying the causes of disease—and with it, how to prevent disease and improve human health. Utilizing visual explanations and examples, this text provides an accessible, step-by-step introduction to the fundamentals of epidemiologic study, from design to analysis.

256 pages | 6.15 x 9.25 in.
ISBN 978-0-19-933124-6 | Paperback

Also available in eBook format

Published by Oxford University Press


Across fourteen chapters, Epidemiology Matters provides an overview of foundational concepts that underlie the conduct of an epidemiologic study:

  1. identify a population of interest

  2. measure exposure and health indicators;

  3. take a sample;

  4. estimate measures of association between exposures and health indicators;

  5. rigorously evaluate the associations for internal validity;

  6. assess the evidence for causes working together; and

  7. assess the external validity of epidemiologic study results.​

With its consequentialist approach—designing epidemiologic studies that aim to inform our understanding, and therefore improve public health—Epidemiology Matters is an introductory text for the next generation of students in medicine and public health.

About the Authors

Katherine M. Keyes, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University. Her research focuses on life course epidemiology with particular attention to psychiatric disorders, including cross-generational cohort effects on substance use, mental health, and chronic disease. She has particular expertise in the development and application of novel epidemiological methods, and in the development of epidemiological theory to measure and elucidate the drivers of population health.

Sandro Galea, MD, DrPHis the Robert A. Knox Professor and Dean at the Boston University School of Public Health and formerly the Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University. His work focuses on the social production of health of urban populations, innovative cells-to-society approaches to population health, and advancing a consequentialist approach to epidemiology in the service of population health. He is a past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.

Together they have taught introductory epidemiology at Columbia University and the University of Michigan for more than fifteen years.

Join the Conversation

Have a question about methods? Join us on Facebook