Indirect method of standardization

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Indirect method of standardization  (INDIRECT method of standardization)


Crude death rates (401-4) will depend on the structure (particularly the age structure (325-6)) of the population as well as on the level of mortality. If the mortality of different populations is to be compared, standardized mortality rates 1 or adjusted mortality rates 1 are sometimes computed to eliminate the effect of differences in population structure (144-4). Age is the characteristic for which mortality rates are adjusted most frequently by reference to a standard population 2 with a given structure. If specific rates (134-6) for the population studied are available, it is possible to proceed by the direct method of standardization 3 which consists of applying these rates to the corresponding groups of the standard population. The indirect method of standardization 4 may be used to yield comparative mortality indices 5. These are employed for the same purpose as standardized mortality rates. They are computed by applying standard mortality rates 6 to the different groups of the population studied and summing these to obtain an expected number of deaths. Their value is obtained by comparing the observed deaths 7 in the population with the expected deaths 8 which would have occurred had the standard rates applied.

  • 1. standardize v. — standardized adj. — standardization n., the process of standardizing.
  • 5. If a crude death rate (401-4) is multiplied by a comparative mortality index, we obtain an indirectly standardized death rate. In British official terminology, when occupational mortality is studied, the figure obtained by direct standardization is called a comparative mortality figure, and that obtained by indirect a standardized mortality ratio.


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