Environmental Epidemiology

Course content

The course covers description and analysis of health effects in population occurring entirely or partly due to environmental factors. It is focused on the methodology and interpretation of environmental epidemiology and the most relevant environmental factors covering the following topics:
Demography and disease patterns
Analytical epidemiology: design and causality
Exposure and outcome assessment
Dose-response relationships
Bias and confounding
Critical interpretation of epidemiological studies, design and data
Molecular epidemiology with laboratory based development and use of biomarkers for exposure, susceptibility and effect.
Gene-environment interactions
Biostatistics and power calculation in environmental epidemiology
Epidemiology of hormone disruptors, radiation, food carcinogens, heavy metals and occupational exposures, whereas air pollution epidemiology is covered in a separate course.

Education

MSc Programme in Environmental Science- compulsory

Learning outcome

The main objective of the course is to introduce key methods for human population based assessment of environmental risks, the designs and applications, strengths and weaknesses and utilisation of understanding of molecular mechanisms.

Upon completion of the course the student should be able to:

Knowledge

  • Describe population demographics and disease patterns with use of rates, incidence and prevalence
  • Demonstrate understanding of the fundamentals of analytical epidemiology
  • Demonstrate understanding of the problems of exposure assessment for environmental factors
  • Describe the use of registers and cohorts in particular in Denmark and similar countries
  • Demonstrate understanding of bias and confounding in environmental health studies
  • Describe the epidemiology of the most relevant environmental factors
  • Demonstrate understanding of exposure-effect relationship in susceptible groups

 Skills

  • Prepare a protocol for environmental epidemiology studies and molecular epidemiology studies with the use of biomarkers for exposure, susceptibility and effect
  • Plan development and validation of biomarkers based on analytical chemistry
  • Analyse dose-response relationships
  • Apply methods for exposure assessment for environmental factors
  • Deal with bias and confounding in environmental health studies
  • Perform basic statistical analysis and power calculation for epidemiological data

 Competences

  • Extract and discuss strength and weaknesses of relevant epidemiological literature
  • Discuss exposure and outcome assessment with relevant specialists
  • Critically evaluate and interpret epidemiological studies, design and data
  • Discuss and apply the most appropriate design of epidemiological studies for an environmental health problem and/or molecular epidemiology techniques
  • Evaluate and discuss causality in environmental health problems

 

Lectures and exercises

ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min under invigilation
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Aid
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Knowledge

  • Describe population demographics and disease patterns with use of rates, incidence and prevalence
  • Demonstrate understanding of the fundamentals of analytical epidemiology
  • Demonstrate understanding of the problems of exposure assessment for environmental factors
  • Appreciate the use of registers and cohorts in particular in Denmark and similar countries
  • Demonstrate understanding of bias and confounding in environmental health studies
  • Describe the epidemiology of the most relevant environmental factors
  • Demonstrate understanding of gene-environment interactions

Skills

  • Prepare a protocol for environmental epidemiology studies and molecular epidemiology studies with the use of biomarkers for exposure, susceptibility and effect
  • Plan development and validation of biomarkers based on analytical chemistry
  • Analyse dose-response relationships
  • Apply methods for exposure assessment for environmental factors
  • Deal with bias and confounding in environmental health studies
  • Perform basic statistical analysis and power calculation for epidemiological data

Competences

  • Extract and discuss strength and weaknesses of relevant epidemiological literature
  • Discuss exposure and outcome assessment with relevant specialists
  • Critically evaluate and interpret epidemiological studies, design and data
  • Discuss and apply the most appropriate design of epidemiological studies for an environmental health problem and/or molecular epidemiology techniques
  • Evaluate and discuss causality in environmental health problems

 

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Practical exercises
  • 12
  • Preparation
  • 106
  • Guidance
  • 2
  • Project work
  • 18
  • Exam
  • 2
  • English
  • 206