Concepts, Dimensions and Indicators of Health

Health indicators are quantifiable characteristics of a population which researchers use as supporting evidence for describing the health of a population. Typically, researchers will use a survey methodology to gather information about certain people, use statistics in an attempt to generalize the information collected to the entire population, and then use the statistical analysis to make a statement about the health of the population.

Health indicators


  • A health indicator which will be used internationally to describe global health should have the following characteristics:
  • It should be defined in such a way that it can be measured uniformly internationally.
  • It must have statistical validity.
  • The indicator must be data which can feasibly be collected.
  • The analysis of the data must result in a recommendation on which people can make changes to improve health

List of health indicators

  • Crude death rate
  • Life expectancy
  • Infant mortality rate
  • Maternal mortality rate
  • Proportional mortality rate

Morbidity indicators

  • Prevalence
  • Incidence
  • Others

Health status

Incidence counts of any of the following in a population may be health indicators:

  • Low birth weight
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer incidence
  • Chronic pain
  • Oral health
  • Depression
  • hospital visits due to injury
  • reports of waterborne diseases or foodborne illness

Disability indicators

Disability adjusted life years (DALY)

Others: Activities of daily living (ADL), Musculoskeletal disability (MSD) score etc.

Nutritional indicators

  • Proportion of low birth weight
  • Prevalence of anaemia
  • Proportion of overweight individuals
  • Prevalence of underweight among under-fives
  • Prevalence of stunting among under-fives
  • Prevalence of acute malnutrition among under-fives

Social and mental health indicators

  • Alcohol related indicators
  • Injury rates

Health system indicators

  • Healthcare delivery related
  • Health policy indicators
  • Health improvement activities

Health Determinant

  • Smoking habits
  • alcohol consumption habits
  • Physical exercise habits
  • Breastfeeding
  • Environment

Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Dr. Rohit Bhaskar, Physio is Founder of Bhaskar Health and Physiotherapy and is also a consulting physiotherapist. He completed his Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. His clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab. Bhaskar Health is dedicated to readers, doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Bhaskar Health audience is the reason I feel so passionate about this project, so thanks for reading and sharing Bhaskar Health.

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