Common Measures and Statistics in Epidemiological Literature


epidemiologists measure disease frequency, they analyze the incidence and
prevalence of a disease. Incidence is the number of new cases of a disease in a
particular population during a specific time period. This measure is useful
when public health officials and epidemiologists are looking at the first
occurrence of a disease. It is also important when comparing populations to determine
disease risk.

For each problem,
answer the following questions:

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Name the appropriate
measure of disease frequency that should be used in each scenario and justify
its use (why that particular measure is the appropriate one).

1) The
percentage of elderly men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer by age 80.

2) The
number of mothers who die during the first year after giving birth due to
complications from the birthing process.

the last day of the school year, the number of freshman college students who are
at least 15 pounds heavier than when they started the school year.

Calculate the
appropriate disease frequency rate. Show your work.

1) The
cumulative incidence rate in a population of 100,000 people where 9 new cases
of disease were reported within 1 year.

2) The
prevalence of a chronic disease on November 1st where 9 initial cases were
found in September with an additional 45 cases reported in October of a small
city with a population of 75,000 people.

3) The
relative risk of death from exposure A if the mortality rate in the exposed
group is 60 deaths per 1000 person-years and the mortality rate in the
unexposed group is 20 per 1000 person-years.

The prevalence of a
health condition is the existing number of cases of that condition in the
population. State whether the factors listed below are likely to increase or
decrease the prevalence of a health condition and explain your reasoning.

1) Improvements
in diagnostic criteria

2) Shorter
duration of a health condition

3) Decrease
in the incidence of the health condition

4) Loss
of healthy people from the population for other reasons

Rubic Assignment

Content to follow in writing the
Paper / Assignment

1)Paper demonstrates an excellent
understanding of all of the concepts and key points presented in the
texts.Paper provides significant detail
including multiple relevant examples, evidence from the readings and other
sources, and discerning ideas.

2) Paper demonstrates a good understanding
of most of the concepts and key points presented in the text. Paper includes
moderate detail, evidence from the readings, and discerning ideas.

3) Paper is well organized, uses scholarly
tone, follows APA style, uses original writing and proper paraphrasing,
contains very few or no writing and/or spelling errors, and is fully consistent
with graduate level writing style. Paper contains multiple, appropriate and
exemplary sources expected/required for the assignment.

4) Paper is mostly consistent with
graduate level writing style. Paper may have some small or infrequent
organization, scholarly tone, or APA style issues, and/or may contain a few
writing and spelling errors, and/or somewhat less than the expected number of
or type of sources.

order to assess the impact a disease has on public health, it is important to
analyze research data by comparing disease frequencies among and between


•Quantifying Disease in Populations

Learn more about how
disease is measured in populations at this Web resource by BMJ.
•ERIC Notebook: Incidence vs. Prevalence

The University of North
Carolina School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology publishes the ERIC
(Epidemiologic Research and Information Center) Notebook. This publication
focuses on incidence and prevalence.

•ERIC Notebook: Calculating Person-time

To learn more about
person-time, read this informative article from UNC ERIC.

•ERIC Notebook: Common Measures and Statistics
in Epidemiological Literature