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Chapter 3

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PSYC 3850

Chapter Three EpidemiologyTerms of ReferenceRateRate is defined as the ratio of all persons who have a given disorder to the total number of persons in a given populationThe number of cases has to be expressed with reference to some comparison number often 1000Must not distort ratioPreference for whole numbersPrevalence and IncidencePrevalence and incidence have clearly defined meanings however they are often misapplied in the literaturePrevalenceUsed when we wish to know something about the overall numbers that are present in the population at a given timePrevalence rates are given relative to the total population on which the study is basedTotal population includes people with the disorderProper meaningful reference population is importantEg TaySachs disease among Ashkenazi Jews vs Randomly selected populationKey point importance of being an informed consumer of epidemiological informationIncidenceUsed to know something about the number of new cases that arise in a given span of timeProvides an understanding of trendsEg 60 new cases of Down syndrome from 1981 to 1984 in a population of 100000 people Therefore the incidence is 20100000 per yearPrevalence does not necessarily increase or decrease with incidence because of death or survival rates preventative measures etcTherefore the relative magnitude of incidence and prevalence gives us some information about the nature
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