Part II


Epidemiology Glossary[1]

This glossary has been taken directly from the CDC web site:

In most cases, when you alphabetically search for a term/definition, this book takes you to the original source or, the CDC website. To return to this book, click on the back arrow in your browser.

  • AGE-ADJUSTED MORTALITY RATE. A mortality rate statistically modified to eliminate the effect of different age distributions in the different populations.
  • AGENT. A factor, such as a microorganism, chemical substance, or form of radiation, whose presence, excessive presence, or (in deficiency diseases) relative absence is essential for the occurrence of a disease.
  • AGE-SPECIFIC MORTALITY RATE. A mortality rate limited to a particular age group. The numerator is the number of deaths in that age group; the denominator is the number of persons in that age group in the population.
  • ANALYTIC EPIDEMIOLOGY. The aspect of epidemiology concerned with the search for health-related causes and effects. Uses comparison groups, which provide baseline data, to quantify the association between exposures and outcomes, and test hypotheses about causal relationships.
  • ANALYTIC STUDY. A comparative study intended to identify and quantify associations, test hypotheses, and identify causes. Two common types are cohort study and case-control study.
  • APPLIED EPIDEMIOLOGY. The application or practice of epidemiology to address public health issues.
  • ASSOCIATION. Statistical relationship between two or more events, characteristics, or other variables.
  • ATTACK RATE. A variant of an incident rate, applied to a narrowly defined population observed for a limited period of time, such as during an epidemic.
  • ATTRIBUTABLE PROPORTION. A measure of the public health impact of a causative factor; proportion of a disease in a group that is exposed to a particular factor which can be attributed to their exposure to that factor.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2014). Epidemiology Glossary, from


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