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RE: Ecological Study- I Need a Primer!


Actually, the relationship was proven.  Drinking water from the particular

well was the cause of the cholera

-- John 

John Jacobus, MS

Certified Health Physicist 

3050 Traymore Lane

Bowie, MD  20715-2024

E-mail:  jenday1@email.msn.com (H)      

-----Original Message-----

From: Tony Harrison [mailto:Tony.Harrison@state.co.us]

Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 11:35 AM

To: radsafe@list.vanderbilt.edu; IHK@Y12.doe.gov

Subject: Re: Ecological Study- I Need a Primer!

. . .

Few epi studies can "prove" a mechanism, and fewer try to.  This

doesn't make such studies useless.  The textbook example is John Snow's

work with cholera in London.  By spotting cases of disease on a map he

showed pretty clearly that there was a relationship with disease and

drinking water.  This was before the germ theory, so he had no idea what

the mechanism was.  Nevertheless, by stealing the handle to a water pump

(thus cutting off that particular water supply) he saved a lot of lives.

 Mechanisms are nice for proving a cause/effect relationship, but most

MD's are willing to take actions that will prevent disease without

waiting for that relationship to be proven.

. . .


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