Mortality Indicators

Health Hygiene & Sanitation

Lesson 05 : Indicators Of Health

Mortality Indicators

Mortality or death can be age specific, cause specific, disease specific or due to other reasons. Mortality represents traditional measures of health status and are most commonly used indirect indicators of health. With the control of infectious disease mortality rates have declined, in developed countries, these can no longer be used as sensitive indicators.

Mortality Indicators Includes

  1. Crude Death rate(CDR)
  2. Expectation of life at birth
  3. Infant Mortality Rate(IMR)
  4. Child Mortality Rate(CMR)
  5. Under 5 proportionate Mortality Rate
  6. Maternal Mortality Rate(MMR)
  7. Disease specific Mortality
  8. Proportional Mortality Rate

Crude Death Rate (CDR)

CDR is defined as the number of deaths per 1000 population per year in a given community. It indicates the rate at which people are dying. Not very perfect measures of health, a decrease in death rate provides a good tool for assessing the overall health improvement in a population. Reducing the number of deaths is the ultimate goal of medicine and health care. The success or failure in attaining this is the commitment of the nation to better health.

Expectation of life at birth

It is the average number of years a person born alive into a population lives, if the current age specific mortality rates persists. It is influenced by infant and child mortality rates. It is estimated separately for both sexes. An increase in the life expectancy indicates the improvements in health status. Life expectancy is a good indicator of socio economic development. It is considered as global health indicator.

Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)

IMR is the ratio of deaths under one year of age in a given year to the total number of live births in the same year, usually expressed as rate per 1000 live births. It is one of the universally accepted indictors of health status of infants, of the whole population and of the socioeconomic conditions under which they live. Besides it is effective indictor of availability, utilization and effectiveness of health care during perinatal periods.

Child Mortality Rate (CMR)

It indicates the overall health status of children between 1-4 years. It is defined as ”the number of deaths at ages of 1-4 years in a given year per 1000 children in that age group at the midpoint of the year concerned . It excludes infant mortality. CMR indicates adequacy of MCH services, sufficiently of nutrition, coverage of immunization, exposure to environmental and exogenous agents.

Under 5 proportionate mortality rate

It is the proportion of total deaths occurring in less than 5 years. This includes IMR, CMR and mortality during 4-5 years. It can be as high as 60% in communities with poor hygiene. High rate under 5 proportionate mortality indicates high birth rate, high child mortality and shorter life expectancy.

Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR)

This accounts for the greatest number of deaths among women of reproductive age. This depends on socio-economic status.

Disease specific mortality

Mortality rates can be computed for specific diseases. As the burden of communicable diseases is decreasing that of other non communicable ones like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, accidents, diabetes etc is increasing, to add to the disease specific problems.

Proportional Mortality Rate

Proportional Mortality Rate is the simplest measure of estimating the burden of a disease in a community. This is the proportion of all deaths occurring in a community. CHD is the cause of 25 to 30 % of all deaths in most western countries. The proportional mortality rates from communicable diseases have been suggested as useful health status indicators, it indicates the magnitude of preventive mortality.

Last modified: Monday, 23 April 2012, 7:25 AM