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  • The study of how a disease originates and spreads in any given population and/or time period. Epidemiologists seek to establish factors that are associated with disease (risk factors) as well as factors that may protect from disease (protective factors). Epidemiological studies do not always establish causation but can identify correlations between a given factor and a higher or lower incidence of disease in a population. Such research is important in informing public health policy for the prevention and treatment of disease.


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