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Glossary

Glossary

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 
people who identified themselves as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. See also Indigenous

age-adjustment or age-adjusted
see age-standardisation

age-specific rate
an estimate of the number of people experiencing a particular event in a specified age-group relative to the total number of people ‘at risk’ of that event in that age-group

age-specific death rate
the number of deaths of persons of a specific age-group in a calendar year per 1,000 persons of the same age-group. For the purposes of this report the age-specific death rate is calculated per 100,000 persons of the same age-group so the rate can be expressed as a whole number

age-specific fertility rate 
the number of live births to women in a specified age-group in one year per 1,000 women in the same age-group

age-standardisation
a method of removing the influence of age when comparing populations with different age structures. This is necessary because the rates of many diseases increase with age. The age structures of the different populations are converted to the same ‘standard’ structure; then the disease rates that would have occurred with that structure are calculated and compared. See direct standardisation and indirect standardisation

avoidable mortality

a death that, theoretically, could have been avoided given an understanding of causation, the adoption of available disease prevention initiatives and the use of available health care

biomedical data
data collected from the results of blood and urine testing

body mass index (BMI) 
a measure calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres squared, and which categorises a person as ranging from underweight to obese: underweight (BMI: <18.5); normal (BMI: 18.5 - 24.9); overweight (BMI: 25.0 - 29.9); obese (BMI: 30.0+)

burden of disease (and injury)
the quantified impact of a disease or injury on a population using the disability-adjusted life year measure

cause of death
as entered on the medical certificate of cause of death - refers to are all diseases, morbid conditions or injuries that either resulted in or contributed to death

crude rate 
the number of new cases (crude incidence rate) or deaths (crude death rate) due to a disease in the total population that could be affected, without considering age or other factors

disability-adjusted life year
a year of healthy life lost, either through premature death or living with disability due to illness or injury

direct standardisation
the procedure for adjusting rates in which the specific rates for a study population are averaged using as weights the distribution of a standard population. This form of standardisation is used when the populations under study are large and the age-specific rates are reliable

excess deaths 
the difference between the actual number of deaths occurring and the number expected from rates for the comparable population (the population used for comparison is most often the total Australian population or the total for the specific jurisdictions being considered)

expectation of life 
predicted number of years of life remaining to a person if the present pattern of mortality does not change. It is a statistical abstraction based on current age-specific death rates

fatal burden
the burden of dying prematurely from a disease or injury as measured by years of life lost. It offers a way to compare the impact of different diseases, conditions or injuries on a population. See non-fatal burden

fertility rate 
see age-specific fertility rate and total fertility rate

hospitalisation
an episode of admitted patient care, which can be either a patient’s total stay in hospital (from admission to discharge, transfer or death), or part of a patient’s stay in hospital that results in a change to the type of care (for example, from acute care to rehabilitation)

hospital separation
see hospitalisation. Also, the formal process by which a hospital records the completion of treatment and/or care for an admitted patient

hospital separation rate
the total number of episodes of care for admitted patients divided by the total number of persons in the population under study. Often presented as a rate per 1,000 or 10,000 members of a population. Rates may be crude or standardised

incidence 
the number of instances of illness commencing, or of persons falling ill, during a given period in a specified population

incidence rate 
the number of instances of illness commencing, or of persons falling ill, during a given period in a specified population divided by the population at risk

Indigenous
term used to refer collectively to the two Indigenous sub-populations within Australia - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

indirect standardisation 
the procedure for adjusting rates in which the specific rates in a standard population are averaged using as weights the distribution of the study population. This form of standardisation is used when the populations under study are small and the age-specific rates are unreliable or not known

infant mortality
the death of a live-born child who dies before reaching his/her first birthday

infant mortality rate 
the number of deaths of children under one year of age in a specified period per 1,000 live births in the same period

International Classification of Disease 
World Health Organization’s internationally accepted classification of death and disease. The ICD-10-AM (Australian modification) was introduced in hospitals and other healthcare agencies in 1999 to report morbidity data

life expectancy 
see expectation of life

maternal mortality
pregnancy-related deaths occurring to women during pregnancy or up to 42 days after delivery
maternal mortality ratio
number of maternal deaths divided by the number of confinements (expressed in 100,000’s)

median age at death 
the age above and below which 50% of deaths occurred

morbidity 
state of being diseased or otherwise unwell

mortality
death

mortality gap
calculated as the difference between two or more populations in potential years of life lost due to premature death

non-fatal burden
the burden from living with ill health, as measured by years lived with disability

non-Indigenous
a person who does not identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

other Australians
includes people who did not identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, and people for whom information on their Indigenous status is not available

potentially preventable hospitalisations
hospital separations
 from a specified range of conditions where hospitalisation is considered to be largely preventable if timely and adequate care had been provided through population health services, primary care and outpatient services

prevalence 
the number of instances of a given disease or other condition in a given population at a designated time

rate
one number (the numerator) divided by another number (the denominator). The numerator is commonly the number of events in a specified time. The denominator is the population at risk of the event. Rates (crude, age-specific and age-standardised) are generally multiplied by a number such as 100,000 to create whole numbers

rate ratio
the rate for one population (example, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) divided by the rate for another population (example, non-Indigenous population)

risk factor 
an attribute or exposure that is associated with an increased probability of a specified outcome, such as the occurrence of a disease. A risk factor is not necessarily a causal factor

self-reported data
data based on how an individual perceives their own health. It relies on survey participants being aware, and accurately reporting, their health status and health conditions, which is not as accurate as data based on clinical records or measured data

standardised mortality ratio 
the ratio of the observed number of deaths in a study population to the number expected if the study population had the same age-specific rates as a standard population. The standardised mortality ratio is expressed sometimes as the ratio multiplied by 100. See age-standardisation 

standardised rate 
the number of new cases (standardised incidence rate) or deaths (standardised death rate) due to a disease for a particular population after adjustment has been made for differences in the age structures of this population and a reference population. See age-standardisation

total fertility rate
the number of live births a woman would have if, throughout her reproductive years, she had children at the rates prevailing in the reference calendar year. It is the sum of the age-specific fertility rates for that calendar year

years lived with disability
measures the years of what could have been a healthy life that were instead spent in states of less than full health. Years lived with disability represent non-fatal burden

years of life lost 
measures years of life lost due to premature death, defined as dying before the ideal lifespan (based on the lowest observed death rates from multiple countries). Years of life lost represent fatal burden

 

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    Last updated: 3 March 2017
     
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