Information in this paper can help readers evaluate the results of epidemiologic studies of waterborne disease risks. It is important that readers understand the various epidemiologic study designs, their strengths and limitations, and potential biases. Terminology used by epidemiologists to describe disease risks can be confusing. Thus, readers should not only evaluate the adequacy of the information to estimate waterborne risks but should also understand how the risk was estimated. For example, one author's definition of attributable risk may be quite different from another author's in terms of the population to which the risk may apply and how it should be interpreted.

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