Which single achievement in Epidemiology is of particular interest to you?
One of the achievements of particular interest in Epidemiology is the reduction of tobacco use especially among people aged 18 years and above. In developed countries such as the US, tobacco use among people aged 18 years and above dropped significantly from 42.4 percent in 1965 to 24.7 percent in 1997. Research indicates that total consumption of tobacco in the US stood at 8 million in 1970 although this decreased to 2 million in 1993 and the succeeding years.
Briefly describe that achievement in Epidemiology (1–2 paragraphs). In what era did this achievement occur?
Reduction in tobacco use is regarded as one of the key epidemiologic achievements of the 20th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, smoking was a socially accepted behavior with common occurrence among youths and the aged. Early 20th century was marked with a rare occurrence of diseases such as lung cancer. However, as tobacco use became increasingly popular among men and women, incidences such as lung cancer became epidemic contributing to the loss of lives. According to public health statistics, the mortality rate caused by lung cancer among men was 4.9/100000 among men in 1930 and this later increased to 75.6/100000 in 1990 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1).
The increased use of tobacco in the 20th century paved the way for the occurrence of diseases such as heart disease, laryngeal cancer, esophageal cancer, atherosclerotic peripheral vascular disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The increase in health complications such as low birth weight and intrauterine growth retardation was also attributed to increased tobacco use. With the realization that tobacco use was a health hazard, substantial public health efforts to reduce its prevalence began in 1964 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1).
Briefly describe one important tool that can be used to measure its occurrence in a population.
An important tool that can be used to measure the reduction in tobacco use in a given population is surveys (Bonita, Robert, and Tord 17). For instance, surveys conducted among the US population indicate that between 1965 and 1997 tobacco use among people aged 18 years and above reduced from 42.4 percent to 24.7 percent. Further, surveys conducted in the US in the 20th century indicate that tobacco use decreased significantly among men and women and across races.
According to surveys in the US, despite the efforts to reduce tobacco use and consumption, its prevalence remains highest among and within racial groups such as Native Americans, blacks, and Southeast Asian men. However, from the surveys, low prevalence is identified among Asian American and Hispanic women. It should be noted that surveys have helped determine prevalence rates of tobacco use among the global population over the years.
Please identify one specific source of public health data on that issue and write one paragraph about it. Provide a description of the source and a link (i.e., hyperlink or URL) directly to the data source.
CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm5114.pdf) gives insight into the issue of tobacco use with a specific focus on the US. According to this source, tobacco use caused an annual average of 264,087 deaths and 178,311 deaths among men and women respectively between 1995 and 1999. This source further indicates that tobacco use was the major cause of neoplasms, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, perinatal conditions, and burn deaths experienced by a significant population in the US in the late 20th century. The increase in the mentioned incidences and deaths in the late 20th century prompted organizations such as the CDC to come up with efforts of reducing the same.
Incorporating what you learned in this module about risk and rates, what would you say was one major factor that influenced the achievement of this occurrence?
Reduction in tobacco use in the 20th century was influenced by factors such as availability of scientific evidence of correlation between diseases, tobacco use, and environmental exposure to tobacco. Also, dissemination of information to the public regarding the risks accompanying tobacco use played a key role in its reduction in the 20th century (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1).
Bonita, Ruth, Robert Beaglehole, and Tord Kjellström. Basic epidemiology. World Health Organization, 2006.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Tobacco Use- United States, 1900-1999. Retrieved on 19th December, 2016, from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4843a2.htm