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Status: 09.07.2020 20:37:05

Image Epidemiology

Department of Epidemiology (EPI)



In the Department of Epidemiology, research focuses on food consumption and its role for disease development and well-being. In order to better understand this role, it is important to assess individual food consumption correctly, to understand the determinants of the consumption, and to identify food patterns as well as interdependencies between food patterns and other lifestyle factors, e. g., physical activity. Furthermore, it is necessary to identify the metabolic processes associated with food consumption. Obesity and high blood pressure are seen as central indicators for existing risk constellations. The knowledge gained from these investigations will be applied in risk analyses between food consumption and incidence of chronic diseases. The risk analyses provide indications for prevention of premature aging, age-related diseases such as cancer and cardio- vascular diseases, and early death.

Food consumption as well as metabolite concentrations in body fluids such as blood or the microbiome (community of bacteria) is characterized by very high variability. The adequate statistical handling of these highly complex and correlating data is currently only rudimentarily possible. For example, there are no established statistical methods for such highly complex data in risk analyses. The standard Cox regression method is well suited for quantifying the influence of a factor for disease risk but has its limits when patterns and correlating variables have to be considered. Therefore, the department tests whether further statistical epidemiological approaches adequately address such data constellations.

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