Human Genome Epidemiology : A scientific foundation for using genetic information to improve health and prevent disease


Human health is determined by the interplay of genetic factors and the environment. In this context the recent advances in human genomics are expected to play a central role in medicine and public health by providing genetic information for disease prediction and prevention.

After the completion of the human genome sequencing, a fundamental step will be represented by the translation of these discoveries into meaningful actions to improve health and prevent diseases, and the field of epidemiology plays a central role in this effort. These are some of the issues addressed by Human Genome Epidemiology –A scientific foundation for using genetic information to improve health and prevent disease, a volume edited by Prof. M. Khoury, Prof. J. Little, Prof.W. Burke and published by Oxford university Press 2004.

This book describes the important role that epidemiological methods play in the continuum from gene discovery to the development and application of genetic tests. The Authors calls this continuum human genome epidemiology (HuGE) to denote an evolving field of inquiry that uses systematic applications of epidemiological methods to assess the impact of human genetic variation on health and disease.

The book is divided into four sections and it is structured to allow readers to proceed systematically from the fundamentals of genome technology and discovery, to the epidemiological approaches, to gene characterisation, to the evaluation of genetic tests and their use in health services and public health.

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