Let's discuss the definition of incidence. In epidemiology, the occurrence of new cases of disease, injury, or other medical conditions over a specified time period, usually expressed as a rate or proportion. A person developing diabetes, becoming infected with HIV, starting to smoke, or being admitted to the hospital are all examples of incident cases or events.
What is Epidemiology?
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It is the study of how and why diseases arise in various groups of people, and it is used to prepare and assess disease prevention measures as well as to direct the treatment of patients who have already acquired disease.
Epidemiology is sometimes referred to as the foundational science of public health.
The analysis of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in particular populations, as well as the application of this information to disease prevention, is known as epidemiology.
Incidence, Risk and Rate
The incidence rate is a calculation of how often a disease or other occurrence occurs within a given period of time. It's also known as the incidence density rate or person-time incidence rate since the denominator is the combined person-time of the population at risk (that is the sum of the time duration of exposure across all the number of people exposed).
There are two main measures of incidence:
What is Risk?
The proportion of people in a population (who are initially disease-free) who contract the disease within a given time period is known as risk. The probability of an incident is expressed as a percentage (or if small as per 1000 persons).
The incidence risk assumes that the entire population at risk at the start of the study period has been followed for the production of the outcome under investigation for the prescribed time period. Participants in a cohort study, on the other hand, could drop out during follow-up.
For example, some participants may:
Develop the outcome under investigation
Refuse to continue to participate in the study
Enter the study some time after it starts
A more accurate metric, the incidence rate, can be estimated to account for these differences during follow-up.
Incidence Versus Prevalence
In comparison to incidence, frequency encompasses both new and current cases. An event case is someone who is recently diagnosed with diabetes, while a prevalent case is someone who has had diabetes for ten years. An individual with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, can only have one occurrence in their lifetime. An individual may have several incidences of diseases that can be cured (e.g., the common cold) over the course of his or her lifetime.
The study of incident cases may reveal details about a disease's aetiology (or cause) and outcome. It also enables researchers to identify the factors that increase the risk of a disease or other medical condition. The study of prevalent cases, on the other hand, incorporates both new and surviving cases, making it difficult to determine if risk factors are the cause of new cases or the cause of survival.
The Relationship Between Prevalence and Incidence
The proportion of the population with a disease at a given point in time (prevalence) and the rate of new disease occurrence over a given period of time (incidence) are closely related.
Prevalence depends on:
The incidence rate (R)
The duration of disease (T)
What is Incidence Rate?
The incidence rate is a calculation of how often an occurrence, such as a disease or an accident, happens within a given period of time.
The number of new cases of a disease over a given time span, expressed as a percentage of the number of people at risk for the disease, is known as the incidence rate.
Incidence rates and prevalence proportions are commonly used to express the health status of a population. Because there are several methods for calculating these epidemiological measures, it is difficult to compare. This research looks at the effect of various numerator and denominator organisational concepts on occurrence rates and prevalence proportions.
Incidence Rate Formula
Real World Example of Incidence Rate
In 2013, a county in the United States with a population of 500,000 people may have had 20 new cases of tuberculosis (TB), resulting in an incidence rate of four cases per 100,000 people. This is higher than the overall TB incidence rate in the United States, which was 9,852 new TB cases in 2013, or three cases per 100,000 people.
The incidence rate is a measure of how likely an occurrence is to occur within a given time period.
This rate allows for the prediction of potential events and the development of contingency plans.
The term "incidence" differs from "prevalence," which refers to the overall number of cases rather than the likelihood of another case occurring.