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You don‘t need to do any special reading before you look at this lecture. It is based on an article I wrote recently:
Cohen CH. Does the improvement in case ascertainment explain the increase in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease since 1970 in the United Kingdom? Am J Epidemiol 2000;152:474-9. 

If you would like to read more about the issues I discuss, look at:

Clayton D, Schifflers E. Models for temporal variation in cancer rates. I: Age-period and age-cohort models. Stat Med 1987;6:449-67.
Cohen CH, Valleron A-J. When did Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy start? Implications on the prediction of a new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD) epidemic. Int J Epidemiol 1999;28:526-31.
Cousens S et al. Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United Kingdom: analysis of epidemiological surveillance data for 1970-96. BMJ 1997;315:389-96.
Neilson S. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and the remoteness of risk to human populations. BMJ 1996;312:1038-9.