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HCA 402: Skills Assessment #1: Calculating Case Rates

All case rates have two things in common, 1) A numerator or case count, and 2) a denominator (population). Calculating case rates isn’t rocket science, but obtaining accurate numbers to describe a populations’ health can be quite a challenge. So, let’s start with a case with available numbers.

A grade school asthma study was performed at Dolphin View Elementary. There were 120 asthma cases in a school population of 1,500. During the calendar year 2011, of the 120 cases total, 20 cases were newly diagnosed. There was 1 death during the year studies due to acute status asthmaticus.

Dolphin View Elementary Asthma Study: (Illustrative) Meyer (2012)

Epidemiology Case Counts = 120

Population = 1,500

New Cases = 20

Deaths = 1

Time Period CY 2011

The quantitative existence of the disease in the population

Prevalence Rate =

number of diseased people at a point in time/

cases

_______

x 1,000 =

number of individuals in the population

population

______Cases per 1,000

The speed of new cases of a disease in the population

Incidence Rate =

number of new cases during the set time period/

cases

_______

x 1,000 =

number of individuals in the population

population

______Cases per 1,000

Mortality Rate =

number of new deaths of the disease in the period/

Case(s)

_______

x 1,000 =

sum of risk period for all individuals

population

______Cases per 1,000