Rationale and methodological options for assessing infectious disease and related measures in social science surveys

Thomas McDade, Mark D. Hayward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Infectious disease is an important, but often overlooked, component of population health in high-income nations. Common, everyday infections exact significant costs, including school and work absenteeism, reduced productivity, and substantial health care expenditures. Infectious disease also shapes trajectories of biological risk and health and may be causally linked to chronic disease risk later in life. The size, diversity, and representativeness of samples typically employed in survey-based studies of health present exceptional opportunities for advancing scientific knowledge on the social and economic determinants of infectious disease in childhood and adulthood and to investigate the long-term consequences of infectious disease for well-being and attainment across multiple domains. A wide range of interview-based, anthropometric, and biomarker measurement options are currently available for assessing infectious exposures, inflammation, and immune function in nonclinical settings. These methods afford opportunities for innovative, transdisciplinary research on the causes and consequences of infectious disease across the life course that can address questions of interest to social, life, and biomedical scientists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-177
Number of pages19
JournalBiodemography and Social Biology
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Genetics

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