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Definition of Terms

This page contains an alphabetical listing of terms used by the Iowa Department of Public Health. These terms will include everything from government pseudonyms and acronyms to medical and health-related terms that may be unfamiliar to readers.

Terms A-B


Access to Baby and Child Dentistry

IDPH Oral Health Bureau, ABCD program page


Literally "without cells." Generally refers to newly developed pertussis vaccines.

Adequate Prenatal Care

  • The percent of women delivered during a given time period who had their first prenatal visit in the first trimester (first 13 weeks) of pregnancy.
  • The percent of women delivered during a given time period who received an appropriate number of prenatal visits adjusted for trimester of entry and gestational age of infant at birth (Kessner or Kotelchuck Index).

Age-adjusted Death (Mortality) Rate

Mortality or death rate that has been adjusted for age distribution.

Age-adjusted Rate

A rate that is statistically modified to eliminate the effect of different age distributions in the population over time, or between different populations. For example, age-adjusting allows one to compare rates between two counties, even though County A has an older population than County B. Age-adjusted rates are commonly seen for mortality and morbidity. The 1940 U.S. Standard Million Population is used in most cases.

Age-specific Birth Rate

Reported as an annual rate per 1,000:

    Number of live births to females in a specific age group divided by the est. pop. in that age group

Age-specific Death Rate

Reported as an annual rate per 1,000:

    Number of deaths for a specific age group divided by the estimated mid-year population of that group


Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

IDPH HIV Program

Attributable Risk

Measure of how much of the disease burden could be eliminated if the exposure were eliminated. Alternately, the rate of a disease or other outcome in exposed individuals that can be attributed to the exposure.


Building and Strengthening Iowa Community Support for Nutrition and Physical Activity

IDPH Bureau of Nutrition and Health Promotion, BASICS program page


Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

IDPH BRFSS program page