MED/42 - 6 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

At the end of the course students must have acquired knowledge, skills and abilities that enable them to have solid knowledge about: health determinants and risk factors in lifestyle; Methodologies for the prevention of chronic-degenerative and infectious diseases.

In addition, the course aims to analyze the relationship between environment and health related to the pollution of the different environmental matrices in order to provide the student with a solid preparation for the management, control and evaluation of the anthropic environment. Provide cognitive features of health damage caused by exposure to any pollutants present in the abovementioned arrays; Illustrate the basic principles of environmental epidemiology methods for the study of such damage.

Finally, the student will be provided with basic knowledge on the most important aspects of environmental monitoring and control, with particular regard to sampling techniques, the most widely measured chemical parameters and the instrumental methods used in chemical analysis including the criteria of the choice of optimal analytical methodology, from sampling to instrumental analysis, to the measurement of chemical and physical chemical parameters.

Detailed Course Content

Hygiene goals and methodologies. Models of diseases. Prevention of infectious and chronic-degenerative diseases. Risk factors associated with habits and lifestyles (tobacco and alcohol habits, Unhealthy eating habits, sedentary).

Environmental policies and health protection. Environmental Sustainability and Urban Health. Environmental and health impact assessment. Environmental pollutants: bioavailability, biological amplification and major pathological effects. National Interest Sites.

Epidemiology. History and development of environmental epidemiology. Role of epidemiology in the management of environmental hygiene. Population Concepts. Epidemiological measures. Demographics and health statistics. Impact and prevalence. Analytical epidemiology and risk measures. Comparisons and Associations. Validity (systematic error, bias and confusion). Accuracy (random error, statistical reliability).

Types of epidemiological studies (observational studies, experimental studies). Methodological aspects related to the design of the study. Strategies in choosing the design of the study. Analysis and interpretation of a study. Practical aspects in carrying out a study.

Screening and biological monitoring. Data sources. Exposure assessment. Exposure assessment concepts. Matrices and exposure scenarios. Exposure Measurement Techniques. Exposure Modeling Techniques

Limits of studies in environmental epidemiology. Causality between exposure and outcomes. Methodologies for data analysis in environmental hygiene. Critical evaluation of literature in environmental epidemiology.

Textbook Information

  1. M. Buffoli, S. Capolongo, A. Odone, C. Signorelli. Salute e ambiente. Igiene edilizia, urbanistica e ambientale. EdiSES
  2. FREE text available online. Metodi di studio e applicazioni in sanità pubblica traduzione in lingua italiana di: Environmental Epidemiology A Textbook on Study Methods and Public Health Applications. WHO (World Health Organization) in collaborazione con USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency)

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