Epigenetic Prospects in Epidemiology and Public Health

Shuai Li, Pierre-Antoine Dugue, Roger L. Milne, John L. Hopper

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Epigenetic epidemiology, an interdisciplinary field combining epigenetic and epidemiological knowledge, tools, and techniques, is emerging in medical research and public health. In this chapter, we review and discuss the promising role of epigenetics in understanding disease etiology, assessing relevant exposures, and using them for disease prediction and therapy. We summarize important aspects to be considered in the implementation of epigenetic epidemiological research including research question, study design, sample size, biological sample, and measurement tool. We also summarize the challenges in epigenetic epidemiology research including data analysis, interpretation of results, causal inference, and communication to the public. Combining epigenetics with epidemiology, with a careful study design and an appropriate interpretation of results, can potentially enhance our understanding of disease and promote public health.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEpigenetics in Human Disease
EditorsTrygve O. Tollefsbol
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780128122150
ISBN (Print)9780128123294
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarker
  • Causal inference
  • DNA methylation
  • Epidemiology
  • Epigenetics
  • Etiology
  • Public health
  • Risk prediction
  • Study design

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