Epidemiology of Chronic Disease

Chronic diseases account for 6 of the top 7 causes of death in the United States according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From cardiovascular disease to diabetes to cancer and pulmonary disease, chronic diseases claim far more lives than such infectious diseases as pneumonia and influenza. And as the population ages, the burden of these diseases is only likely to increase. The same is true overseas and, increasingly, in developing countries.

These trends have spurred myriad efforts at international, national, state, and local levels and in academia and industry – all of which call for interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners with the ability to identify risk factors, understand the social context, and develop prevention strategies for the most significant chronic diseases.

The Certificate in the Epidemiology of Chronic Disease provides students with a deep grounding in epidemiologic methodologies to better understand these complex diseases. Students will also have access to the vast network of Mailman School faculty working at the forefront of chronic disease prevention and treatment in areas such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Admissions Eligibility

Epidemiology of Chronic Disease is open to Columbia MPH students in:

Biostatistics
Environmental Health Sciences
Epidemiology
Health Policy and Management
Population and Family Health
Sociomedical Sciences

Learn More

Visit the Certificates Database to learn more about core and credit requirements.

Sample Courses

Cancer Epidemiology

Methods used in cancer epidemiology are critically examined through weekly assigned readings, lectures and class discussion. Topics covered in this course include molecular and cellular biology of cancer, basic mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and the roles of chemical, viral, hormonal, genetic and nutritional factors in human cancer. The natural history of cancer analysis of time trends in cancer incidence, mortality, survival and geographic distribution are also examined. Screening and treatment issues will be discussed.

Genetics in Epidemiology

Modern research in epidemiology must take into account both biological and social effects on disease susceptibility, and the genetic influences on disease risk are of paramount importance in understanding the biological influences. This course will cover methodologic and substantive aspects of genetics in epidemiology, including an introduction to the biological basis of human heredity, complexities in the genetic influences on human disease, and study designs used to disentangle genetic and nongenetic contributions to disease etiology. Topics include methods for collection of valid family history data, familial aggregation studies, gene-environmental interaction, twin studies, linkage analysis, and allelic association studies.

Related Certificates

Advanced Epidemiology
Health of an Aging Society
Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Related Links

Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
NIEHS Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan
Epidemiology Grand Rounds