Descriptive Epidemiological Measures
This chapter has presented common descriptive measures, namely rates and ratios, useful in planning and evaluating health care services, policies, and programs. Rates are used to identify and prioritize health problems within a population,assess variability of the utilization of health care resources, evaluate progress toward achieving health goals, and propose hypotheses regarding the etiology and control of health problems. Rates also are used to assess health, disease, and exposure patterns and their variability in populations. Ratios aid in evaluating the degree of the relationship between exposure and outcome.Descriptive mea- sures, in general, are useful in identifying the components of the health care system that could be modified to improve the health status of populations. The specific type of epidemiological measure used depends on the objective of the assessment, the nature of the health problem being evaluated, and the type of data available.
KeywordsBehavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Adjusted Rate Standard Population Comparison Population Population Attributable Risk
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Anderson, R. N., and Rosenberg, H. M., 1998, Age standardization of death rates: Implementation of the year 2000 standard, National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 47,No. 3, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD.Google Scholar
- Cole, P., and MacMahon, B., 1971, Attributable risk percent in case-control studies, Br. J. Prevention and Soc. Med. 25:242–244.Google Scholar
- Dean, A. G., Arner, T. G., Sangam, S., Sunki, G. G., Friedman, R., Lantiga, M., Zubieta, J. C., Sullivan, K. M., and Smith, D. C., 2000, Epi Info™ 2000, a database and statistics program for public health professionals for use on Window 95, 98, NT, and 2000 computers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.Google Scholar
- Fleiss, J. L., 1981, Statistical Methods for Rates and Proportions, 2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons, New York.Google Scholar
- Kahn, H. A., and Sempos, C. T., 1989, Statistical Methods in Epidemiology, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
- Kramarow, E., Lentzner, H., Rooks, R., Weeks, J., and Saydah, S., 1999, Health and Aging Chartbook: Health United States, 1999, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD.Google Scholar
- Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, 2000, The Burden of Disease in Los Angeles County, County of Los Angeles, CA.Google Scholar
- Murray, C. J. L., and Lopez, A. D. (eds.), 1996, The Global Burden of Disease: A Comprehensive Assessment of Mortality and Disability from Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors in 1990 and Projected to 2020, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
- National Center for Health Statistics, 1999, Health United States, 1999 with Health and Aging Chartbook, Hyattsville, MD.Google Scholar
- Oleske, D. M., Branca, M. L., Schmidt, J. B., Ferguson, R., and Linn, E. S., 1998, A comparison of capitated and fee-for-service Medicaid reimbursement methods on pregnancy outcomes, HSR: Health Services Res. 33:55–73.Google Scholar
- Ries, L. A. G., Kosary, C. L., Hankey, B. F., Miller, B. A., Cleff, L., and Edwards, B. K. (eds.), 1999, SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1973–1996, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD.Google Scholar
- Walter, S. D., 1978, Calculation of attributable risks from epidemiological data, Int. J. Epidemiol. 7:75–182.Google Scholar