• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of amjphAmerican Journal of Public Health Web SiteAmerican Public Health Association Web SiteSubmissionsSubscriptionsAbout Us
Am J Public Health. 1999 August; 89(8): 1170–1174.
PMCID: PMC1508689

Individual causal models and population system models in epidemiology.

Abstract

A group of individuals behaves as a population system when patterns of connections among individuals influence population health outcomes. Epidemiology usually treats populations as collections of independent individuals rather than as systems of interacting individuals. An appropriate theoretical structure, which includes the determinants of connections among individuals, is needed to develop a "population system epidemiology." Infection transmission models and sufficient-component cause models provide contrasting templates for the needed theoretical structure. Sufficient-component cause models focus on joint effects of multiple exposures in individuals. They handle time and interactions between individuals in the definition of variables and assume that populations are the sum of their individuals. Transmission models, in contrast, model interactions among individuals over time. Their nonlinear structure means that population risks are not simply the sum of individual risks. The theoretical base for "population system epidemiology" should integrate both approaches. It should model joint effects of multiple exposures in individuals as time related processes while incorporating the determinants and effects of interactions among individuals. Recent advances in G-estimation and discrete individual transmission model formulation provide opportunities for such integration.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.5M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Susser M, Susser E. Choosing a future for epidemiology: I. Eras and paradigms. Am J Public Health. 1996 May;86(5):668–673. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Susser M, Susser E. Choosing a future for epidemiology: II. From black box to Chinese boxes and eco-epidemiology. Am J Public Health. 1996 May;86(5):674–677. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Koopman JS. Emerging objectives and methods in epidemiology. Am J Public Health. 1996 May;86(5):630–632. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Koopman JS, Longini IM., Jr The ecological effects of individual exposures and nonlinear disease dynamics in populations. Am J Public Health. 1994 May;84(5):836–842. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Koopman JS, Longini IM, Jr, Jacquez JA, Simon CP, Ostrow DG, Martin WR, Woodcock DM. Assessing risk factors for transmission of infection. Am J Epidemiol. 1991 Jun 15;133(12):1199–1209. [PubMed]
  • Koopman JS, Jacquez JA, Welch GW, Simon CP, Foxman B, Pollock SM, Barth-Jones D, Adams AL, Lange K. The role of early HIV infection in the spread of HIV through populations. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol. 1997 Mar 1;14(3):249–258. [PubMed]
  • Kaplan GA, Pamuk ER, Lynch JW, Cohen RD, Balfour JL. Inequality in income and mortality in the United States: analysis of mortality and potential pathways. BMJ. 1996 Apr 20;312(7037):999–1003. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lynch JW, Kaplan GA, Pamuk ER, Cohen RD, Heck KE, Balfour JL, Yen IH. Income inequality and mortality in metropolitan areas of the United States. Am J Public Health. 1998 Jul;88(7):1074–1080. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Schwartz S, Carpenter KM. The right answer for the wrong question: consequences of type III error for public health research. Am J Public Health. 1999 Aug;89(8):1175–1180. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Koopman JS, Weed DL. Epigenesis theory: a mathematical model relating causal concepts of pathogenesis in individuals to disease patterns in populations. Am J Epidemiol. 1990 Aug;132(2):366–390. [PubMed]
  • Koopman JS. Causal models and sources of interaction. Am J Epidemiol. 1977 Dec;106(6):439–444. [PubMed]
  • Dietz K, Hadeler KP. Epidemiological models for sexually transmitted diseases. J Math Biol. 1988;26(1):1–25. [PubMed]
  • Ghani AC, Swinton J, Garnett GP. The role of sexual partnership networks in the epidemiology of gonorrhea. Sex Transm Dis. 1997 Jan;24(1):45–56. [PubMed]
  • Kretzschmar M, Morris M. Measures of concurrency in networks and the spread of infectious disease. Math Biosci. 1996 Apr 15;133(2):165–195. [PubMed]
  • Greenland S, Pearl J, Robins JM. Causal diagrams for epidemiologic research. Epidemiology. 1999 Jan;10(1):37–48. [PubMed]
  • Witteman JC, D'Agostino RB, Stijnen T, Kannel WB, Cobb JC, de Ridder MA, Hofman A, Robins JM. G-estimation of causal effects: isolated systolic hypertension and cardiovascular death in the Framingham Heart Study. Am J Epidemiol. 1998 Aug 15;148(4):390–401. [PubMed]

Articles from American Journal of Public Health are provided here courtesy of American Public Health Association

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...