Health indicators are measurements of health. They measure the different aspects of health within a society or a country. These are quantifiable characteristics of a population which are used as supporting evidence for describing the health of that population.
Health indicators are not only significant in monitoring the health of the population but also the factors that influence health and the effectiveness of health services in that population.
Generally, researchers use survey method to collect information about certain people. After that, they use statistics to generalize the information collected from the entire population, then use the statistical analysis to make a statement about the health of the population. For example, “life expectancy” is a health indicator.
A government may collect the information of each citizen’s age at the time of death. This data about age at death can be used to support statements about the national life expectancy, in which case life expectancy would be a ‘health indicator’.
Life expectancy is one of the many indicators which researchers collectively use to describe the health of the population of the country. These are commonly used to prepare the health policy of a country.
Health Status Indicators
These indicators measure the different aspects of the health of a population. Examples of these indicators include the following:
- Life expectancy
- Infant mortality rate
- Under-five mortality rate
- Low birth weight
- High Blood Pressure
- Disability or chronic diseases rate
- Incidence of cancer
- Hospital visits due to injury
These may vary in numbers from one country to another country due to different social, economic and physical conditions. These indicators measure the things that influence health. Examples of these indicators include the following:
- Smoking habits
- Quality of water
- Access to health services
In addition, you may follow the demographics of these indicators.