Causal Inference and Assessment of Risk in the Health Sciences

  • Ryan T. Demmer
  • Panos N. PapapanouEmail author


This chapter presents fundamental concepts related to risk assessment and causal inference in the health sciences. It discusses the processes involved in the identification of risk and causative factors for diseases based on the counterfactual framework and contemporary sufficient component cause models. It provides definitions of commonly used terms, and exemplifies their use. It demonstrates why causal inference is made at the population rather than the individual level, and discusses its relevance to personalized medicine and future epidemiological research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public HealthUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Division of Periodontics, Section of Oral, Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Dental MedicineColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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