Difference Between Morbidity and Mortality

One of the most tragic things of being human is the ability to be afflicted by diseases and also the ability to die because of them. Two different terms are used for these two instances and are called morbidity and mortality. Man is not immortal, it is said, and this means that man has the ability to die. Mortality is a word that refers to casualties or deaths resulting from disease or any calamity. Even in an outbreak of an epidemic, the seriousness or intensity of the disease is judged on the basis of mortality rates. Morbidity, on the other hand is a word that is associated with sickness or illness. In general, terms like disease, illness and morbidity are used interchangeably to refer to a medical condition. Let us take a closer look at these two words.

What is Morbidity?

Morbidity is a state of having poor health or a disease because of any reason. Whenever a person is afflicted with a disease to a level that it affects his health, the word morbidity is used by doctors. In this connection, comorbidity is a term used by medical fraternity to refer to an instance where a person is suffering from two or more diseases at the same instant. Morbidity rate is referred to the rate of incidence of a disease or the prevalence of the disease in a certain population. This term should not be confused with mortality rate.

What is Mortality?

Mortality is not a word used in general but is used only to refer to a situation where people in a population are dying because of a disease. Mortality rate describes the number of people dying because of a disease in a population. It is expressed in terms of number of deaths per thousand people in a year. So if the population is 100000, and mortality rate is 7.5, it means that 750 deaths took place in the population because of the disease in a year. There are different types of mortality rates such as crude mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, infant mortality rate, and so on. Each rate pertains to number of deaths per thousand of that cross section of the population.

What is the difference between Morbidity and Mortality

• Morbidity is a state of being afflicted by a disease. It is a term that doctors use to refer to an unhealthy person who is suffering from disease.

• Mortality refers to the susceptibility of human beings to die. It is not a general word but used in conjunction with a calamity or outbreak of an epidemic where doctors calculate mortality rate that refers to number of deaths per thousand of the population.