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Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health Practice, Third Edition
An Introduction to Applied Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Lesson 3: Measures of Risk

This is an HTML version of a printed book. It is not intended to be an online course.

Readers are referred to the book or to the electronic PDF version (511 pages) for printable versions of text, figures, and tables.

 

Overview

 

Lesson 2 described measures of central location and spread, which are useful for summarizing continuous variables. However, many variables used by field epidemiologists are categorical variables, some of which have only two categories — exposed yes/no, test positive/negative, case/control, and so on. These variables have to be summarized with frequency measures such as ratios, proportions, and rates. Incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates are three frequency measures that are used to characterize the occurrence of health events in a population.

 

Objectives

 

After studying this lesson and answering the questions in the exercises, you will be able to:

  • Calculate and interpret the following epidemiologic measures:
    • Ratio
    • Proportion
    • Incidence proportion (attack rate)
    • Incidence rate
    • Prevalence
    • Mortality rate
  • Choose and apply the appropriate measures of association and measures of public health impact

 

Major Sections

 

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