Term: Indirect Standardization of Rates

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Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2006-06-01


This is used to compare study populations for which the specific rates are either statistically unstable or unknown. The specific rates in the standard population are averaged, using as weights the distribution of the study population. The ratio of the crude rate for the study population to the weighted average so obtained is the standardized mortality (or morbidity) ratio, or SMR. The indirect standardized rate itself is the product of the SMR and the crude rate for the standard population, but this is rarely used (Last, 2001).

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  • Last JM. A Dictionary of Epidemiology. 4th Edition. In: Spasoff, RA, et. al. (eds). New York, New York: Oxford University Press; 2001. 0-0.(View)