Dr Lau is correct in his use of the traditional definition of "epidemiology." However, we felt it quite appropriate to expand the definition to include those "related states and events in populations" as used by Last1 in our study of the economic effects of children's cancer.2 We were examining the effects of this disease over time in a defined population using epidemiologic techniques. One needs to study not only the distribution of disease and determinants of health, but also those related events bearing on disease and health, to still feel comfortable in referring to it as an epidemiologic investigation.
Bloom BS, Evans AE, Knorr RS. Epidemic Expenses?-Reply. JAMA. 1985;254(17):2412-2413. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360170052024