Clinical Research Glossary

morbidity (rate) morbidity (rate)


The number of people who develop a disease or illness in a group over time.

Example of morbidity (rate) in a sentence

The morbidity rate in a study refers to how many people have or develop a condition.

More Info

The morbidity rate is calculated by counting how many new cases or illnesses occur in a given number of people in a certain amount of time.

Morbidity can also refer to medical problems caused by a treatment.

For example, if 100 people get a rash from a new medication in a study of 1000 people, the morbidity rate of rash is 10% (e.g., 100/1000=1/10 or 10%).

Other info to think about when joining a study

In the clinical research context, the term “morbidity rate” can be found in study descriptions. A study could be looking at ways to decrease the number of people developing a disease or illness.

Sometimes you might see the term “morbidity rate” used in study results as well to describe how many participants develop new diseases or illnesses, or even how the morbidity rate of the study compares with the general public or other groups.

If you see this term when you are reviewing a research document, you can always ask the study team about how it might be important for your participation in the study.

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