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Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume

Morbidity rate

Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English vol.
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Morbidity rate  (MORBIDITY rate)

Three aspects of morbidity (420-1) are commonly measured by morbidity rates 1 or morbidity ratios 1: frequency, duration and severity. These indices may be computed for specific diseases, or for all diseases. Two indices of the frequency of ill-health are the incidence rate 2, the number of new cases of disease during the period related to the average population, and the prevalence rate 3, the number of cases existing at a given moment of time expressed per unit of the average population. Either the average duration per case 4, or the disability rate 5, which is the mean number of days of illness 5 per person in the population, may serve as a measure of the duration of illness. The case fatality rate 6, which is the proportion of fatal cases among the reported cases of the specified diseases, may be used as an index of severity.

  • 5. Disability rate is an inappropriate, but commonly used, term for a ratio of the number of days lived with illness divided by the number of days lived by the entire population, both in the same time interval.
  • 6. This is said to measure the lethality of the disease.