Chapter

Disease Process Models

Thomas J. Smith and David Kriebel

in A Biologic Approach to Environmental Assessment and Epidemiology

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780195141566
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199872145 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195141566.003.0006
Disease Process Models

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This chapter shows how we can use basic descriptive information about the time course of observed biological responses and reasonable estimates of the time profile of tissue concentrations to develop summary dose metrics that can be used to study quantitative exposure-response relationships. Disease process models are highly simplified versions of the true complexity of biologic pathways. Whether or not the simplification is worthwhile should be tested with empirical data. If the proposed model does not fit the observed disease time course, then the model may be wrong. This will occur because the hypothesized process model is not appropriate for humans with these environmental exposures, because the model has been constructed or applied incorrectly, or because the data are biased or confounded. But if the data are accurate and the hypothesis about the nature of the exposure-response process is reasonably correct, then the predicted time course of exposure, dose, and responses should fit the observed data.

Keywords: exposure-response relationships; exposure assessment; biological response; epidemiology; disease process models

Chapter.  7519 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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