Epidemiology Counts from the Society for Epidemiologic Research-logo

Epidemiology Counts from the Society for Epidemiologic Research

Science Podcasts

Epidemiology Counts from the Society for Epidemiologic Research, a podcast that gives you up to date information on the state of health research straight from researchers who are deeply involved with this work.


United States


Epidemiology Counts from the Society for Epidemiologic Research, a podcast that gives you up to date information on the state of health research straight from researchers who are deeply involved with this work.






Epidemiology Counts – Episode 39 – Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

In this episode of Epi Counts, host Bryan James talks to Maria Glymour, the incoming chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, about their shared area of research: the epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In this conversation, they discuss the latest on how scientists are attempting to define Alzheimer’s disease biologically as a distinct concept from the dementia syndrome, as well as the controversies surrounding such a definition....


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 38 – Occupational Epidemiology

Occupational Epidemiology is one of the oldest and most salient areas in Epidemiology. People need to work, so understanding the aspects of the work environment that contribute to health is vital to public health. Exposures are often not confined to the workplace, meaning knowledge generated has wider importance. For example, occupational cohort studies of the health effects of asbestos and diesel exhaust have led to determinations of carcinogenicity by the International Agency for Research...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 37 – Epidemiology vs. Population Health: Two sides of the same coin?

Population Health Sciences and Epidemiology are thought about as different from one another by some, and largely overlapping by others. Depending on who you talk to, either view might spark an argument. In this crossover episode, I get the chance to chat with Aresha Martinez-Cardoso, Darrell Hudson, and Michael Esposito, hosts of the IAPHS podcast. We may or may not actually answer the question: what’s the difference between these two fields anyway?


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 36 – Trans Health

Trans health is a growing area in public health. This is largely due to the growing number of individuals who feel comfortable expressing gender identities that do not confirm to binary male and female categories. The 2015 summary of the US transgender survey reported around 27,000 respondents, over 4 times as many as the previous 2008-2009 survey. Respondents also reported greater acceptance among family, friends, and colleagues, with over 50% of respondents describing them as ‘supportive.’...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 35 – The Microbiome: our gut, our health

Did you know trillions of microorganisms such as bacteria, virus, and fungi are living inside of your body right now? The microbiome can be described as the community of microbes that reside in a particular part the human body. The past two decades has seen an exponential increase in the number of publications related to the microbiome and how it affects human health. There is growing evidence that the microbiome, in all its complexity, can impact health and disease. Some of the diseases...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 34 – Omicron & transition to endemic COVID-19

The most recent stage of the COVID-19 pandemic has been defined by the surge of the Omicron variant, a version of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is highly contagious yet seemingly not as likely to result in severe infection. Cases are now declining in most parts of the country—but yet the rate of infection is still as high as it has ever been pre-Omicron [editor’s note: host erroneously left out “pre-Omicron” in Intro to podcast]. So what is next? Is the risk now low enough to relax mask mandates...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 33 – Social Media, Youth Mental Health

Social media is a major part of many people’s day to day lives, including children. Social media can connect young people to other people, groups, imagery, and ideas in a way that was never imaginable two decades ago. This can be exciting but also potentially harmful to vulnerable youth with developing minds. In October of 2021, a former facebook data scientist testified to congress that their internal research showed potential harms the social media platform can inflict on youth mental...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 32 – Built environment: Green Space

In the second episode on how the built environment of our cities and towns affects our health, we discuss how living near green spaces and natural environments can provide health benefits. The feeling of serenity while immersed in nature and vegetation is a near universal human experience; modern researchers are collecting evidence that it may be protective against health outcomes such as adverse mental health, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. Green spaces can decrease stress, promote...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 31 – Sports Injury

Sports is life. Fans have a deep devotion to their preferred teams from their alma maters or home towns. Fans spend shocking amounts of time discussing things like player stats and predictions of final game scores. The players are expected to be at the top of their game at all times. Regardless of the sport, players demand a lot from their bodies. The safety of players is paramount, and findings ways to minimize injury risk is key. Epidemiologists can be key players in helping identify ways...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 30 – The Built Environment: walking and biking

Our health is very much shaped by the structure of the spaces around us, what we often refer to as our built environment. The concept of the built environment was developed for fields of urban planning and architecture, and includes any aspects of our spaces that influence human activity, from density of homes and buildings, access to transportation options and community spaces, and the streets and sidewalks, or the lack thereof. The built environment is also highly relevant to public...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 29 – Residential Segregation & Redlining

Health in America is closely tied to where we live. Higher rates of preventable health conditions are concentrated in high-poverty neighborhoods that are more likely to be home to a higher proportion of Americans of color. Despite modern anti-discrimination laws that make people legally free to move wherever they like, the reality is that our cities and communities remain largely racially segregated. This segregation is not a result of chance, but rather the direct result of business...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 28 – Breakthrough COVID-19 & Delta

The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines that are highly effective against infection and severe disease in late 2020 appeared to be the silver bullet that would end the pandemic and bring life back to the way it was in pre-pandemic times. But the emergence of the highly infectious Delta variant of the virus, coupled with large portions of the eligible public remaining unvaccinated, has dampened much of this initial hope and led to what is being called the Fourth Wave of the pandemic. The surge in...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 27 – Perinatal Epidemiology

What happens in pregnancy and the early stages of infancy can have a profound impact on child and adolescent development, and may even affect the health of individuals as adults. A growing understanding of which events may be most harmful for a growing fetus or newborn can lead to improvements in the health of babies, but it can also create quite a bit of fear and anxiety in expecting mothers and new parents. How do new parents sift through the many “dos and don’ts” that are thrown at them...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 26 – Optimism

Can a positive outlook on life actually have a direct effect on our health? Optimism appears to be linked to better health and the ability to cope with and bounce back from disease and surgery, while pessimistic people are more likely to develop hypertension, heart disease and die prematurely than their optimistic peers. So what is behind these relationships? Can we really just will good health into existence by just thinking about it? Or are optimistic persons more likely to engage in...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 25 – Racialized Policing

By nearly any metric, Black and brown Americans are disproportionately policed, arrested, convicted, and incarcerated compared to white Americans. One in 3 Black boys born in America in 2001 can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Furthermore, Black Americans are more likely to be physically injured and killed at the hands of the police—a reality that manifested in the dramatic response to the killing of George Floyd and other high profile cases, leading to Black Lives Matter protests...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 24 – “Epidemiology podcast crossover”

In honor of the Society for Epidemiologic Research 2020 Meeting, the hosts of four epidemiology podcasts came together to record the first ever “crossover event” to talk about their experiences recording our shows and what podcasting can bring to the table for the field of epidemiology. Join the hosts of Epidemiology Counts (Bryan James), SERiousEPi (Matt Fox, Hailey Banack), Casual Inference (Lucy D’Agostino McGowan), and Shiny Epi People (Lisa Bodnar) as they engage in a fun and...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 23 – “Coronavirus – Testing”

COVID-19 is surging as the United States heads into winter, with 100,000 new cases reported in a single day for the first time on the day of this podcast recording. The presence of this virus is a constant in our lives and our communities, and more and more of us have been tested for the coronavirus or are considering it. But how do you know when to get tested, which test to get, and how to interpret the results? With so much discussion of false negatives and false positives and the correct...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 22 – “Maternal Mortality”

Maternal mortality is a key indicator of population health. While the leading causes of maternal death vary from place to place, most of these deaths are preventable; accordingly, most wealthy countries have reported steady declines in mortality rates over time. However, recent reports from the US suggest that maternal mortality is on the rise, prompting an abundance of concern (and media coverage) about the quality of maternal healthcare in the US. What’s behind these numbers? Is the US...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 21 – “Climate Change”

Hurricane and fire seasons are affecting communities across the US and globally. Over 5 million acres have burned in the Western US. Smoke from these fires reached all the way to New York and Washington DC. Natural disasters are made worse by climate change, but climate change is more than just disasters. Climate change can affect our health in a range of different ways. In this episode, host Bryan James is joined by Anna Pollack to understand how climate change affects health, along with...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 20 – “Sleep”

Sleep is essential for wellbeing and overall health. We spend up to a third of our lives asleep and the general state of “sleep health” is an important question throughout our lifespan. The CDC has estimated that 1 in 3 American Adults do not achieve the recommendation of at least 7 hours of sleep each night for adults aged 18–60 years. Inadequate sleep has been associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart...