The Healthy People goals focus on heart disease and stroke in the American population. According to Healthy People (2020), the two conditions are among the leading causes of death in the US, with heart disease ranking first and stroke fifth. In that regard, Healthy People’s goal is to improve the cardiovascular health of the population and reduce the number of deaths that occur as a result of heart disease and stroke (Healthy People, 2020). Attaining this goal, through the control of their risk factors, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, will improve the quality of life, prevent the related disabilities, and save on the healthcare resources the country invests in their management. Epidemiologic methods can help evaluate the progress made on this objective.
An ecologic study design of descriptive epidemiology
An ecologic study design of descriptive epidemiology is the best method that can facilitate this evaluation. Based on the design of the objective, the key target areas are death, incidence, and prevalence rates of the conditions. In particular, the point prevalence of different times, present and past, is necessary for comparison to determine progress. According to Schmidt and Brown (2019), these epidemiologic measures aim to calculate disease frequency, an element of descriptive epidemiology that focuses on distributing disease in a population. In that regard, a matching descriptive study is necessary. Additionally, the ecologic study design is preferable since it compares disease distribution concerning time.
Based on the stated objective, the primary goal of a descriptive ecologic study for the evaluation would be to determine the changes in the incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates of heart disease and stroke in the American population between 2016 and 2020. The study will evaluate the objective once the conclusions regarding the data’s trends are complete. Such a study will be advantageous because it will be relatively inexpensive and expedient due to relying on secondary data (Schmidt & Brown, 2019). However, one disadvantage would be the difficulty in making comparisons when the definitions of the diseases and the instruments used to collect the data changed over time (Schmidt & Brown, 2019). It would be necessary to design the methods that have close similarities to previous studies or data used for comparison.
Healthy People. (2020). Heart disease and stroke. Healthy People 2030. https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/browse-objectives/heart-disease-and-stroke (Links to an external site.)
Schmidt, N. A., & Brown, J. M. (2019). Evidence based practice for nurse: Appraisal and application of research. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
descriptive epidemiology and analytic epidemiology
In epidemiologic studies, there are two types. There is descriptive epidemiology and analytic epidemiology. Descriptive epidemiology explores how a disease within a population can affect various groups differently. This aids in the quest to investigate potential causes of the disease (Schmidt, 2019). Analytic epidemiology investigates the determinants of a disease by testing hypotheses and determining the etiology of the disease. Epidemiologic designs are beneficial because they can provide patterns of diseases that nurses can use to determine contributing patterns to improve health and outcomes (Schmidt, 2019).
An example of epidemiology methods would be related to determining ways to reduce the mortality rate amongst adults that have been diagnosed with diabetes. The goal of this descriptive study would be to reduce implications such as cardiovascular or kidney disease which can occur because of poor health management (Aguilar, 2019). As a result of improving treatment and management amongst diabetic patients, the prevalence of the condition can be decreased, as it continues to increase in the United States and across the globe (Aguilar, 2019). The cross-sectional study can be applied to the objective of addressing the mortality rate of the specific diabetic patients.
The population of the cross-sectional study would be adults, which are individuals 18 years old and older. The disease frequency and mortality of those individuals would be studied at specific times, and this would help to gain an understanding when addressing future patients. An advantage of cross-sectional studies is that the studies are applicable to examine various traits such as behavior, symptoms, and health status (Schmidt, 2019). A disadvantage of cross-sectional studies is that the specific checkpoint time associated in the study can produce uncertain results such as events or conditions that may have been present prior to the study that were unknown (Schmidt, 2019).
Aguilar, D. (2019). Improving Outcomes in Patients With Diabetes Mellitus. Journal of the American Heart Association, 8(4), e011971.
Schmidt, N. A., & Brown, J. M. (2019). Evidenced-based practice for nurses: Appraisal and application of research (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett.