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November 1, 1985

Epidemic Expenses?

Author Affiliations

St Mary's Hospital London

JAMA. 1985;254(17):2412. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360170052023

To the Editor.—  I was both intrigued and disappointed by the title of the recent article by Bloom et al1 —"The Epidemiology of Disease Expenses." The word "epidemiology" appeared only once in the whole article, namely, in its title. I suggest that neither the tenor nor the content of the paper is accurately reflected in that title.Although a large number of definitions of "epidemiology" are extant, as has been summarized by Lilienfeld,2 none of them would support the implicit construction put on the word "epidemiology" by Bloom et al. It may be of interest that the most recent dictionary definition by Last3 is "the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states and events in populations, and the application of this study to control of health problems."I would hope that your journal might in future consider not lending its prestige and influence in promoting