You see them all the time, in newspapers and on TV – the number of people who were in the hospital last year, the percentage of kids who are overweight, the rate at which people are catching the flu, the average cost of a medical procedure. These are all types of health statistics.
Health statistics are numbers about some aspect of health. Statistics relating to births, deaths, marriages and divorces are sometimes called "vital statistics." Researchers use statistics to see patterns of diseases in groups of people. This can help in figuring out who is at risk for certain diseases, finding ways to control diseases and deciding which diseases should be studied.
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
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|Date last updated: 11 September 2008
Topic last reviewed: 17 June 2008