Standardising Rates of Disease

Published online: 
02 January 1998


This report has been published jointly by the Public Health Commission (PHC) and the Ministry of Health and it aims to provide health practitioners, data analysts, researchers and policy makers with some basic and essential tools for analysing health statistical information.

When analysing health issues much of the statistical information we first encounter is presented to us in the form of numbers and sometimes crude rates. The trends and patterns we need to examine in these statistics often interact with social and demographic factors such as age, gender, ethnicity and social class. This report provides a method which assists to account for the effect of these factors in analyses of health issues. The report was prepared by Dr Barry Borman, a senior epidemiologist in the PHC. We acknowledge also the work of Dr Neil Pearce of the Wellington School of Medicine who generously reviewed the draft report.

Standardising Rates of Disease is a third report in an Analysis & Monitoring series to be published by the PHC. The report is published jointly by the PHC and the Ministry of Health and revises a previous edition published by the Department of Health in 1992. It is based on notes used for teaching standardisation in the Department of Public Health at the Wellington School of Medicine, the Department of Nursing Studies at Victoria University, and the Ministry of Health, Wellington. A computer disk containing spreadsheets of all the examples and exercises in Microsoft EXCEL format is available on request from the author. 

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    02 January 1998
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
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