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Hazard Rate

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

The hazard rate is a measure used to quantify the relative frequency of disease occurrence in a population and plays an important role in descriptive and etiologic investigations. The definition of hazard rate is given as the instantaneous change in the occurrence of new cases per unit change of time at a particular time point, relative to the size of the disease-free population at that particular point in time. It is a theoretical limit of the rate as the time interval goes to zero and could seldom be obtained in reality. Instead, an average rate for a given period is usually estimated and used in epidemiology, analogous to the use of speed as an estimate of average velocity. This average rate is called the ...

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