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November 1, 1985

Epidemic Expenses?-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia

JAMA. 1985;254(17):2412-2413. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360170052024

In Reply.—  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.