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Intensive Care Med. 2014 Jun;40(6):871-6. doi: 10.1007/s00134-014-3279-7. Epub 2014 May 10.

Incidence in ICU populations: how to measure and report it?

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Institute of Statistics, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany,


Incidence of ICU events is mostly measured in one of two ways which differ by the denominator only. Either the number of incident events divided by the number of ICU patients is reported or the number of incident events per 1,000 ICU days is calculated. The difference is relevant, but a connection is rarely made. We give an example where pneumonia diagnosis on admission has no effect on one measure of mortality incidence, but increases the other. We demonstrate how to connect the two measures of incidence. The conclusion is that so-called 'competing incidences' should also be reported.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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