Difference Between Epidemiology and Etiology (With Table)

There are several types of diseases in this world, and to tackle each disease, the doctors need to examine a patient’s body very deeply and correctly. Therefore they study several types of terms or theories related to human body diseases. Then based on their study and body examination, they provide proper medication to their patients.

Epidemiology and Etiology are both medical terms that are studied deeply. But they both differ in their syllabus. In the study of Epidemiology, one learns about both discovered and undiscovered diseases very deeply and then finds a proper medication for it. But in Etiology, one studies the origin of a disease that has already been discovered earlier.

Epidemiology vs Etiology

The difference between Epidemiology and Etiology is that Epidemiology refers to the deep study of both known and unknown diseases and then providing medical prescriptions to their patients. On the other hand, Etiology only studies the pre-discovered diseases and provides its solution and prevention ways.

Epidemiology is basically a medical term in which people study the prevention and outcomes of disease. The disease which they study can be old or known, or it can be new or undiscovered. Epidemiologists not only provide medication but also study the spread of disease and can prevent a pandemic from occurring.

Etiology is related to both medical as well as scientific terms because, in this, a person studies an already known disease, the origin of its name, and the places it has occurred before. Basically, it tells you about all the details of a disease that has occurred in the past and its causes as well as preventions.

Comparison Table Between Epidemiology and Etiology

Parameters of ComparisonEpidemiologyEtiology
Definition Epidemiology is the study of the factors involved in the frequency and spread of disease. And provides preventive measures about that. Etiology is the study of the origin of a disease that has already occurred in the past, its name, its family tree, etc.
Symptoms and signsEpidemiologists first examine their patients deeply and find the root cause of the disease then they provide medication for that. Etiologists only see the symptoms of the disease after that they describe it to their patients and tell them about its preventive measures.
Other usesEpidemiology only deals with medical parlance and it does not tell about other phenomena. Etiology deals with phenomena other than medical phenomena or outside of medical parlance.
Future ScopeEpidemiology has good future scope as it is an ongoing study or process that deals with old as well as new diseases. Etiology only deals with the present situation with the help of past details.
Main focusIn Epidemiology the main focus is given to the sick person, his or her symptoms, and the cause of the spread of disease. In Etiology the main focus is given to the origin of the disease, its family tree, and its past destructions.

What is Epidemiology?

Epidemiology is a term which is derived from the Greek word epidemic where Epi means among, and Demos means study population or group of people, and Logos means a scientific study. Therefore it is a study of disease patterns in the human population. This study is mainly done by physicians, health sector experts, etc.

The aims of Epidemiology are:

  • To describe and analyze a particular disease occurrence and distribution in the human population.
  • To provide the data essential to the planning, implementation for the prevention and control of a particular disease.
  • To eliminate or reduce health problems or their after-effects.

Epidemiology covers various types of fields like clinical epidemiology, geographical epidemiology, social epidemiology, etc. There are three Epidemiological traits which include age, host factor, and environmental factors.

What is Etiology?

Etiology is also known as Aetiology. It is the study of the origin of a specific disease very deeply. The process in Etiology is not ongoing because Etilogists only study past diseases or the diseases which have already occurred in a particular set of the human population. This term is not only related to medical science. It is also related to physics, geography, and theology, etc.

In Etiology, a person studies all the risk factors, causes of a disease and then sum up all the things to get a brief conclusion of how the disease was spread and caused illness. In this subject genetics of a person is also given importance as it tells about a person’s family tree and past medical problems.

The Etiology of a disease is generally categorized into three important or main categories, namely:

  • Intrinsic – coming from inside or within.
  • Extrinsic – originating from outer sources or factors.
  • Idiopathic – unknown causes.

Main Differences Between Epidemiology and Etiology

  1. Epidemiology is the study of the factors involved in the frequency and spread of disease. And provides preventive measures about that. On the other hand, Etiology is the study of the origin of a disease that has already occurred in the past, its name, its family tree, etc.
  2. Etiology only deals with the present situation with the help of past details. Whereas Epidemiology has a good future scope as it is an ongoing study or process that deals with old as well as new diseases.
  3. In Epidemiology, the main focus is given to the sick person, his or her symptoms, and the cause of the spread of disease. While in Etiology, the main focus is given to the origin of the disease, its family tree, and its past destructions.
  4. The term Etiology deals with phenomena other than medical phenomena or outside of medical parlance. Whereas Epidemiology only deals with medical parlance, and it does not tell about other phenomena.
  5. Epidemiologists first examine their patients deeply and find the root cause of the disease, then they provide medication for that. Whereas in the case of Etiologists, they only see the symptoms of the disease after that, they describe it to their patients and tell them about its preventive measures.

Conclusion

For finding a cure for the disease, several types of medical trials are done, and very deep research is done by doctors or researchers. In these trials, doctors test the cure in humans or animals for getting sophisticated results, and if trials get successful, then only a set of populations gets that cure for their medical problems.

Epidemiology deals with the cause, symptoms, and spread of a particular disease, and it can be discovered or undiscovered disease. It is a very deep study in which a set of populations is tested, and several trials are done, then only specific preventive measures are provided by the doctors. But in Etiology, only the diseases which have already occurred are discussed and studied. Etilogists study the origin of a particular disease, its family tree, its cause of spread and after effects, etc.

References

  1. https://www.annemergmed.com/article/S0196-0644(08)01394-2/abstract
  2. https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/abs/10.1302/0301-620X.43B4.752
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