Morbidity and Mortality

Morbidity and Mortality– What Does Morbidity and Mortality Mean? 

Morbidity and mortality – Morbidity is the condition of being ill or unhealthy. It may include acute illnesses (which have a sudden onset and improve or worsen in a short period) and chronic illnesses (which can present and progress slowly over a long time). Mortality is the condition of being dead. We usually hear mortality in terms of the number of deaths in a population over time, either in general or due to a specific cause. It is essential to identify that morbidity may or may not lead to mortality.  The terms morbidity and mortality are partially related but not identical.


What is Morbidity?

Morbidity refers to the condition of being diseased or having disease, or to the amount of disease within a population. Morbidity also applies to the medical problems caused by treatment. The morbidity rate studies how many people got a particular disease in a specific community, at a specific geographical location during a particular period. Morbidity measures the risk that a person will love with a debilitating condition that can impact their ability to function independently. A person can survive for several years with one or more morbidities, and one morbidity may lead to another morbidity.


What is the Meaning of Mortality?

Mortality is the term used to calculate the number of people who died within a population. It refers to the incidence of death. It is expressed as the number of deaths per 100 people per year. It is measured with the help of systems such as SAPA II and III, APACHE-II, Glasgow, Coma scale, etc. Like we mentioned above, it is necessary to identify that morbidities may or may not lead to mortality, that is one could have terminal lung cancer but die of injuries after a road accident.


Difference Between Morbidity and Mortality?

As mentioned above morbidity and mortality are not identical so read on to explore the difference between morbidity and mortality:

Morbidity refers to the state of being unhealthy of an individual, whereas mortality refers to the state of being mortal. Both morbidity and mortality rates can be applied at the individual level or across a population. For example, morbidity rates look at the incidence of a disease across a population and geographic location in a single year while the mortality rate is the rate of death in a population. Based on morbidity and mortality rates – for morbidity it is based on the type of disease, gender, age, etc. In contrast, for mortality it is based on child mortality rate, crude death rates, infant mortality, the maternal mortality rate, etc. Morbidity measures ICU scoring systems while mortality measures the number of deaths for every thousand people. 

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Morbidity and Mortality Statistics

Morbidity and mortality statistics on solvent abuse – a retrospective study of newspaper reports on solvent abuse shows that many individuals had been hospitalized or had died. A subsequent survey of hospital records demonstrated that only a tiny proportion of both hospital casualties and inpatients were found to have been involved in solvent abuse. No morbidity appeared to have resulted from the practice in Lanarkshire. Summing up all, 45 deaths from solvent abuse occurred in Britain between 1970 and January 1977.


Viral Hepatitis 

A descriptive epidemiology based on morbidity and mortality statistics – viral hepatitis has recently gained increasing recognition as one of the most important infectious disease problems in the United States. Two separate entities are included under this term, one is infectious hepatitis which has caused widespread outbreaks in this country from time to time during the past century 51 or longer and the second one is serum hepatitis which is excellent in resembling infectious hepatitis clinically.


Solved Examples

Question: What are the Top Leading Causes of Morbidity?

Answer: 

  1. Acute Respiratory infection

  2. Acute lower respiratory tract infection

  3. Bronchitis

  4. Hypertension

  5. Influenza

  6. TB respiratory


Did You Know

1. Nearly 1% of the world's population is newly infected with tuberculosis each year.

2. Tuberculosis kills approximately 2 million people each year.

3. HIV and tuberculosis is a lethal combination each speeding the other's progress.

4. Malaria takes the life of an African child every 30 seconds.

5. Malaria causes more than 300 million acute illnesses.

6. 20% of the global population is at risk of contracting malaria.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1: Discuss about Child Morbidity and Mortality Rate.

Answer: Child morbidity and mortality rate for ages 0-4 years is due to acute respiratory illness. The illness includes a wide range of effects, including viral and bacterial infection of the lungs and respiratory tracts. It can also be caused or triggered by a large variety of risk factors. Child mortality refers to the children being mortal under the age of five. Infant mortality rate that is IMR has reduced from 57 to 41 per thousand live births, and a higher reduction has been in Under-5-mortality price that is U5MR from 74 to 50 per thousand live births. The state with the highest IMR in Uttar Pradesh nearly 64 per 1000 live births. 

Question 2: Why are Morbidity and Mortality Rates Important?

Answer: Morbidity and mortality rates are an important concept as they allow measurement and comparison of health data. By exploring patterns and variations in the health outcomes, we can begin to hypothesize about possible determinants of population health, and this is the essence of descriptive epidemiology. Descriptive epidemiology relates to the study of variations in population health by time, person and place. Proper collection of morbidity and mortality statistics is essential; department of statistics and MoH are key collectors in Malaysia. Mortality data is usually more available than morbidity data but depends on death certification aspects, diagnostics criteria and other factors.