Occupational epidemiology has emerged as a distinct subdiscipline of epidemiology and occupational medicine, addressing fundamental public health and scientific questions relating to the specification of exposure-response relationships, assessment of the adequacy of occupational exposure guidelines, and extrapolation of hazardous effects to other settings. This book reviews the wide range of principles and methods used in epidemiologic studies of working populations. It describes the historical development of occupational epidemiology, the approaches to characterizing workplace exposures, and the methods for designing and implementing epidemiologic studies. The relative strengths and limitations of different study designs are emphasized. Also included are more advanced discussions of statistical analysis, the estimation of doses to biological targets, and applications of the data derived from occupational epidemiology studies to disease modeling and risk assessment. The volume will serve both as a textbook in epidemiology and occupational medicine courses and as a practical handbook for the design, implementation, and interpretation of research in this field.
Reviewer:J. Thomas Pierce, MBBS PhD(Navy Environmental Health Center)
Description:This is the second edition of a widely used book that provides critical summaries of research approaches applicable to the epidemiology of various workplace hazards. The core of the book addresses relative strengths and limitations of study designs. Its capstone comes with the discussion of steps necessary for assessment of risk, often using contemporaneous topics such as metal working fluid and asbestos studies.
Purpose:This edition updates discussions of case-cohort and case-crossover designs and statistical analysis of repeated measures data. The authors have expanded these examples, thus demonstrating the applications of established methods to a wide range of acute and chronic health conditions.
Audience:Given its well-written, easy-to-read format and its summary of applicable methods, it is attractive to both practitioners and students. It will likely score highly in text adoptions.
Features:This edition gives additional coverage to repeated measures studies. At least with respect to soluble uranium compounds, this edition is less concerned with dose modeling, likely a refinement of the conceptual definition of occupational epidemiology. A new chapter (8) is devoted to epidemiologic methods for illnesses and injury surveillance.
Assessment:I have always liked this book. In fairness I think it will allow many individuals to properly analyze studies they might not otherwise be qualified to critique. It furnishes useful examples and can potentially be used as a reference for persons designing such studies. The book is one in a series of Monographs in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Thus, the reader requiring additional information relative to screening, the effects of genetics, or a score of other possibilities, will be able to use the series to bookend other topics. The parent discipline for this volume, epidemiology, is struggling to properly incorporate molecular approaches. These authors have appropriately included updated information on occupational health surveillance without overstepping the bounds of what is known versus what might be interesting.