Reading Lists

A synthesis of epidemiologic papers, some new, some old, which we feel cover particular topics creatively and well. We aim for this to be useful to introductory epidemiology readers, and interesting and helpful to those already in the field. All students and faculty are invited to submit ideas or candidate papers to the Population Health Methods team for inclusion here. The broader editorial calendar will dictate exact timing of publication but generally we want to post within 30 days of the publication of receiving a submission.

Core Concepts in Epidemiology

Age-Period-Cohort Effects

Complex Systems Approaches to Population Health

Why Do Socially Disadvantaged Populations Have Worse Health?

Measuring Geographically Patterned Hazards and Resources

The U.S. Disadvantage: Worse Health Compared to other High-Income Countries

 

Core Concepts in Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the core quantitative science of population health. The papers included here present issues that are frame setting for the field, laying the groundwork for further discussion of these topics and in subsequent papers.

Author(s): S Galea
Publication: American Journal of Epidemiology
Year published: 2013

3. Epidemiology and the web of causation: has anyone seen the spider

Author(s): N Krieger
Publication: Social Science and Medicine
Year published: 1994

4. Sick individuals and sick populations
Author(s): G RosePublication: International Journal of Epidemiology

Year published: 1985

5. Causes

Author(s): KJ Rothman
Publication: American Journal of Epidemiology
Year published: 1976

6. Theorizing about causes at the individual level while estimating effects at the population level: implications for prevention

Author(s): B Rockhill
Publication: Epidemiology
Year published: 2005

7. What is a cause and how do we know one? A grammar for pragmatic epidemiology

Author(s): M Susser
Publication: American Journal of Epidemiology
Year published: 1991

8. Choosing a future for epidemiology: I. Eras and paradigms

Author(s): M Susser, E Susser
Publication: American Journal of Public Health
Year published: 1996

Complex Systems Approaches to Population Health

The integration of complex systems approaches to population health is a relatively new development in epidemiology. Several papers in the past 5 years, some conceptual, some empirical, have challenged the field to incorporate the methods of systems science.

Author(s): AH Auchincloss, AV Diez Roux
Publication: American Journal of Epidemiology
Year published: 2008

2. Integrating social and biologic factors in health research: a systems view

Author(s): AV Diez Roux
Publication: Annals of Epidemiology
Year published: 2007

3. Causal thinking and complex systems approaches in epidemiology

Author(s): S Galea, M Riddle, GA Kaplan
Publication: International Journal of Epidemiology
Year published: 2010

4. Social network analysis and agent-based modeling in social epidemiology

Author(s): AM El-Sayed, P Scarborough, L Seeman, S Galea
Publication: Epidemiologic Perspectives and Innovation
Year published: 2012

5. The ecologic effects of individual exposures and nonlinear disease dynamics in populations

Author(s): JS Koopman, IM Longini
Publication: American Journal of Public Health
Year published: 1994

6. Individual causal models and population system models in epidemiology

Author(s): JS Koopman, JW Lynch
Publication: American Journal of Public Health
Year published: 1999

7. Causal systems modeling in chronic disease epidemiology: a proposal

Author(s): RB Ness, JS Koopman, MS Roberts
Publication: Annals of Epidemiology
Year published: 2007

Measuring Geographically Patterned Hazards and Resources

Author(s): MD Bader, JA Ailshire, JD Morenoff, JS House
Publication: American Journal of Epidemiology
Year published: 2010

2. The relationship between neighborhood poverty and alcohol use: estimation by marginal structural models

Author(s): M Cerda, AV Diez Roux, ET Tchetgen, P Gordon-Larsen, C Kiefe
Publication: Epidemiology
Year published: 2010

3. Estimating neighborhood health effects: the challenges of causal inference in a complex world

Author(s): C Leal, B Chaix
Publication: Obesity Reviews
Year published: 2011

5. Assessing the measurement properties of neighborhood scales: from psychometrics to ecometrics

Author(s): MS Mujahid, AV Diez Roux, JD Morenoff, T Raghunathan
Publication: American Journal of Epidemiology
Year published: 2007

6. Using Google Street View to audit neighborhood environments

Author(s): AG Rundle, MD Bader, CA Richards, KM Neckerman, JO Teitler
Publication: American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Year published: 2011

7. Geocoding in cancer research: a review

Author(s): G Rushton, MP Armstrong, J GIttler, BR Greene, CE Pavlik, MM West, DL ZImmerman
Publication: American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Year published: 2006

Age-Period-Cohort Effects

Variation in disease prevalence over time and across the life-course reflects a combination of processes that vary by age, time period, and birth cohorts. Understanding the extent to which variation in disease rates reflect these processes help to guide hypotheses about etiologic mechanisms, and practically, guides researchers in the best practices for conducting and presenting surveillance. However, methods to assess age, period, and cohort effects have been controversial.

1. Some methodological issues in cohort analysis of archival data
Author(s): KO Mason, WM Mason, HH Winsborough, K Poole
Publication: American Sociological Review
Year published: 1973

2. Models for temporal variation in cancer rates. II: Age-period-cohort models
Author(s): D Clayton, E Schifflers
Publication: Statistical Medicine
Year published: 1987

3. Understanding the effects of age, period, and cohort on incidence and mortality rates
Author(s): TR Holford
Publication: Annual Review of Public Health
Year published: 1991

4. A Mechanism-Based Approach to the Identification of Age-Period-Cohort Models
Author(s): C Winship, DJ Harding
Publication: Sociological Methods & Research
Year published: 2008

5. What is a cohort effect? Comparison of three statistical methods for modeling cohort effects in obesity prevalence in the United States, 1971-2006
Author(s): KM Keyes, RL Utz, W Robinson, G Li
Publication: Social Science and Medicine
Year published: 2010

Why Do Socially Disadvantaged Populations Have Worse Health?

A striking and recurrent pattern in the epidemiologic literature is the link between social status and health status. Yet variations and exceptions have also been noted which may inform our understanding of which public health actions would ameliorate or exacerbate health disparities.

1. Socioeconomic disparities in health: pathways and policies
Author(s): NE Adler, K Newman
Publication: Health Affairs
Year published: 2002

2. Socioeconomic status in health research: one size does not fit all

Author(s): PA Braveman, C Cubbin, S Egerter, S Chideya, KS Marchi, M Metzler, S Posner
Publication: Journal of the American Medical Association
Year published: 2005

3. Race/ethnicity, gender, and monitoring socioeconomic gradients in health: a comparison of area-based socioeconomic measures--the public health disparities geocoding project

Author(s): N Krieger, JT Chen, PD Waterman, DH Rehkopf, SV Subramanian
Publication: American Journal of Public Health
Year published: 2003

4. Deprivation amplification revisited; or, is it always true that poorer places have poorer access to resources for healthy diets and physical activity?

Author(s): S Macintyre
Publication: International Journal of Nutrition and Physical Activity
Year published: 2007

5. Tackling socioeconomic inequalities in health: analysis of European experiences

Author(s): JP Mackenbach, MJ Bakker
Publication: The Lancet
Year published: 2003

6. Social determinants of health inequalities

Author(s): M Marmot
Publication: The Lancet
Year published: 2005

7. “Fundamental causes" of social inequalities in mortality: a test of the theory

Author(s): JC Phelan, BG Link, A Diez Roux, I Kiwachi, B Levin
Publication: Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Year published: 2004

8. Racial residential segregation: a fundamental cause of racial disparities in health

Author(s): DR Williams, C Collins
Publication: Public Health Reports
Year published: 2001

The U.S. Disadvantage: Worse Health Compared to Other High-Income Countries

The United States currently lags behind many other high-income countries with regard to life expectancy and other important health indicators. The health disadvantage for Americans has steadily grown since its emergence during the second half of the twentieth century. The papers included here highlight the health disadvantage as well as discuss potential explanations.

Author(s): M Avendano, R Kok, M Glymour, L Berkman, I Kawachi, A Kunst, J Mackenbach
Publication: Understanding Divergent Trends in Longevity in High-Income Countries
Year published: 2010

3. Mortality under age 50 accounts for much of the fact that US life expectancy lags that of other high-income countries

Author(s): JA Granados
Publication: Maturitas
Year published: 2013

5. Cancer survival in five continents: a worldwide population-based study (CONCORD)

Author(s): MP Coleman, M Quaresma, F Berrino, JM Lutz, R De Angelis, R Capocaccia, et al.
Publication: Lancet Oncol
Year published: 2008

6. Estimating Smoking–Attributable Mortality in the United States

Author(s): A Fenelon, SH Preston
Publication: Demography
Year published: 2012

7. Contribution of obesity to international differences in life expectancy

Author(s): SH Preston, A Stokes
Publication: Am J Public Health
Year published: 2011