EHS 655: Human Exposure Analysis


EHS655 Human Exposure Analysis, Winter 3 credits (Syllabus)

Description: Students taking this course will learn how to conduct statistical analyses of human exposures, and will apply these skills to an actual dataset containing exposure, biomarker, and health outcome data. They will also develop skills for understanding, interpreting, and communicating exposure information and for identifying and communicating evidence-based risk management recommendations. This course will be relevant to second-year MS, MPH, and PhD students in all EHS subplans, with a specific relevance for IH and OEE students.

The lecture content of the course will describe common data analysis techniques, beginning with simple descriptive analyses and continuing through more complex regression-based approaches. The lecture content will familiarize students with the different approaches, and readings will provide examples of the application of these approaches.

The computer lab-based course content will provide students with time and a common environment in which to explore and apply these analytical techniques on a shared dataset containing human exposure and health outcome data. Analyses in the course will be conducted using the Stata statistical package.

The final project of the course will be a report synthesizing and describing all of the analyses conducted over the course of the semester. Students will also evaluate exposure-response relationships by combining their exposure estimates with observed health effects in the course dataset, and will conduct a limited literature review to evaluate whether these effects are consistent with other published exposure-response estimates. Finally, students will develop recommendations for necessary exposure reduction strategies depending on the results of their exposure and risk analyses.

Course objectives:

  • Explain effects of environmental factors on a population’s health.
  • Explain different approaches for analysis of exposure data.
  • Identify and present exposure reduction recommendations.
  • Introduction to different approaches for analysis of exposure data.
  • Familiarization with different approaches for analysis of health outcome data.
  • Discussion of different approaches for assessing the relationships between exposure and health outcome data.
  • Interpretation and presentation of exposure analysis data.
  • Identification and presentation of exposure reduction recommendations.

Course competencies:

  • Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context.
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate.
  • Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice.
  • Conduct analyses of exposure and health effect data using a common statistical program (e.g., SPSS, Stata, etc).
  • Identify and address common limitations of exposure and health effect data.
  • Identify appropriate analytical techniques for exposure and health effect data.
  • Interpret results of exposure and health effect analyses.
  • Articulate key results of exposure and health effect analyses.
  • Compare analytical results to available risk estimates to determine consistency of their findings with other published literature.
  • Develop and communicate evidence-based risk management recommendations.