Epidemiology is the study of distribution and determinants of health, disease, conditions related to health status and statistics used to improve public health. It is also used in explain how and why health and illness occur in the human population. The first epidemiologist was Florence Nightingale who “invented pie charts and other graphical illustrations to depict mortality rates and show how improvements in sanitary conditions would lead to a decrease in deaths” (Smith & Maurer, 2009, pg. 165). Demographic factors play a big role in health status, health-related behavior and health care services depending upon age, sex, race, ethnicity, social class, occupation and marital status.
The demographic population that I will focus on is age and how the elderly population is related to epidemiology. The elderly population for example, can affect the health status of a community in that they are more prone to health issues and illnesses. This also requires more frequent visits to the hospital and doctor’s office, requiring frequent tests, treatment and medication which can lead to higher insurance premium rates. These populations most times are retired and are on fixed incomes which can limit their flexibility in spending money on food or medication which can jeopardize their health. Health–related behaviors in the elderly population include, dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression and sleep disorders whereas in a younger demographic population dementia and