What is epidemiology?
“Epidemiology is the study of how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why. Epidemiological information is used to plan and evaluate strategies to prevent illness and as a guide to the management of patients in whom disease has already developed.” Epidemiology for the Uninitiated, 4th edition, D. Coggon, G. Rose, DJP Barker BMJ Publishing Group 1997.
Epidemiology for the uninitiated, 4th edition
Why study the epidemiology of rheumatic diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)?
The burden of disease related to rheumatic diseases is high. The Arthritis Society of Canada mentions that rheumatic diseases include more than 100 different conditions. These include relatively common conditions (tendinitis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia) as well as less common but potentially life-threatening conditions, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, and primary vasculitis.