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Dental Data: Statistical Health Information

data to inform precision dentistry & oral health research

Statistical Definitions

Incidence: the number of newly diagnosed cases during a specific time period.

Life Expectancy: the average number of years of remaining life from a particular age based on the probabilities of death in each age group in one particular year.

Lifetime Risk: the probability of developing or dying of a specific disease.

Morbidity: the proportion of patients with a particular disease during a given year per given unit of population.

Mortality: all deaths reported in a given population during a specific time period. A measure of the incidence of death.

Prevalence: the number of new and pre-existing cases alive on a certain date. The proportion of persons with a particular disease or condition at a point in time.

Reporting Bias: an assessment bias that occurs when individuals in one group are more likely to report past events than individuals in another group.  Reporting bias is especially likely to occur when one group is under disproportionate pressure to report confidential information.

Sensitivity and Specificity: measures for assessing the results of diagnostic and screening tests. Sensitivity represents the proportion of truly diseased persons in a screened population who are identified as being diseased by the test. It is a measure of the probability of correctly diagnosing a condition. Specificity is the proportion of truly nondiseased persons who are so identified by the screening test. It is a measure of the probability of correctly identifying a nondiseased person.

Survival: the proportion of patients alive at some point subsequent to the diagnosis of their specific disease.

Vital Statistics: used for general articles concerning statistics of births, deaths, marriages, etc.

Statistics by Type

General Sources

In addition to the more specific sources listed on the above tabs, there are also Internet sites that can help you search a variety of sources for statistical information. Some of these are for information from the U.S. and state government, while others are more broad in scope.

Demographics are statistics used to describe the characteristics or composition of a population group. They tend to cover social and economic characteristics, but type and level of information gathered varies from survey to survey.

Vital statistics include births, deaths, marriages and divorces. They are often kept by all levels of government agencies, although in the United States gathering the data is specifically a state responsibility.

Mortality statistics are the rates at which a specific population group die of certain diseases and conditions. Morbidity statistics are the number of people in a specific population group affected by certain diseases and conditions.

Medical Information Services Librarian

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Sarah Meyer
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