Epidemiology - Quantifying disease in populations, what is a case

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  • Quantifying Disease in Populations
    • Incidence
      • The rate at which new cases occur in a population during a specified period
        • Measured as: (population at risk)   x  (time during which cases were ascertained)
    • Prevalence
      • Is the proportion of a population that are cases at a point in time
    • Mortality
      • The incidence of death from a disease
    • Definition of a Case
      • Purpose must be defined before a case may be defined, as each definition is suitable for a different purpose
        • Statistical Definition
          • Normal is defines as being within two standard deviations of the age specific mean, as in conventional lab practice
        • Clinical Definition
          • Defined by the level of a variable above which symptoms and complications become more frequent
        • Prognostic Definition
          • There will sometimes be a threshold value below which level and prognosis are unrelated
        • Operational Definition
          • Definition will be based on the threshold for treatment, which takes into account symptoms and prognosis but is not determined consistently by either


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