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Statistical Association and Causation

Statistical Association and Causation COMMENTARY Contributions of Different Types of Evidence mortality. Epidemiology is relevant to free-living humans Charles H. Hennekens, MD, DrPH but has the unique disadvantage of being crude and inex- David DeMets, PhD act as observations on free-living humans can never take place under the controlled conditions of basic research. DVANCES IN MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE PROCEED ON SEV- Descriptive Studies. Descriptive studies report patterns eral fronts, optimally simultaneously. Each disci- of disease in relation to person, place, and time. Data from pline provides unique, relevant, and complemen- descriptive studies are essential for public health adminis- Atary information to a totality of evidence. When trators to allocate resources efficiently and to plan effective the totality of evidence is sufficient, health care profession- prevention or education programs, and for researchers to als can make the most rational decisions for individual pa- formulate hypotheses that can be tested subsequently using tients and policy makers can make the most rational deci- an analytic study design. The 3 main types of descriptive sions for the health of the general public. When the totality studies are correlational or ecologic, which consider pat- of evidence is incomplete, it is appropriate to remain un- terns of disease among populations, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

Statistical Association and Causation

JAMA , Volume 305 (11) – Mar 16, 2011

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright 2011 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.2011.322
pmid
21406653
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

COMMENTARY Contributions of Different Types of Evidence mortality. Epidemiology is relevant to free-living humans Charles H. Hennekens, MD, DrPH but has the unique disadvantage of being crude and inex- David DeMets, PhD act as observations on free-living humans can never take place under the controlled conditions of basic research. DVANCES IN MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE PROCEED ON SEV- Descriptive Studies. Descriptive studies report patterns eral fronts, optimally simultaneously. Each disci- of disease in relation to person, place, and time. Data from pline provides unique, relevant, and complemen- descriptive studies are essential for public health adminis- Atary information to a totality of evidence. When trators to allocate resources efficiently and to plan effective the totality of evidence is sufficient, health care profession- prevention or education programs, and for researchers to als can make the most rational decisions for individual pa- formulate hypotheses that can be tested subsequently using tients and policy makers can make the most rational deci- an analytic study design. The 3 main types of descriptive sions for the health of the general public. When the totality studies are correlational or ecologic, which consider pat- of evidence is incomplete, it is appropriate to remain un- terns of disease among populations,

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: Mar 16, 2011

References