02051 - Health Statistics

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students would know the main sources of data, indexes commonly used in health statistics, measures of quality of life and statistical models for survaival analysis. Moreover, the students would be able to: - use data sources of both Italian and international health systems, - calculate new indexes from these data, - analyze health data through statistical tools.

Course contents

Introduction to epidemiology. Main sources of data in health statistics. Measures of disease frequency and association. Sampling designs in epidemiologic studies. Accuracy, precision and validity. Controlling confounding. Causal effects.


K.J. Rothman, Epidemiologia, Idelson Gnocchi, 2007.

Other textbooks:

K.J. Rothman, Modern Epidemiology, Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 3 ed., 2008.

B.B. Gerstman, Epidemiology Kept Simple: An Introduction to Traditional and Modern Epidemiology, Wiley-Liss, 2 ed., 2003.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures, practice exercises and lectures in computer lab.


As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit (in particular, reffering to lectures in computer lab), all students must attend Module 1, 2 on Health and Safety online.

Assessment methods

The exam, common to the course of Biostatisics, aims at testing the student's achievement of the following learning outcomes:

• deep knowledge of the statstical methods described and discussed during the lectures

• ability to use these methods in the analysis of biometrical data

• ability to use the obtained results for the quantitative interpretation of an epidemiological or clinical study.

The exam is common to the course of Biostatistics and is a computer plus an oral test. The aim of the computer test is to verify practical competences in the statistical analysis of health data. The oral test is related to the teaching objectives under a theoretical perspective.
The oral examination can be taken only when the computer test is passed and during at most two successive exam sessions.

For the computer test of Health Statistics the software STATA is used to solve and comment results of 4 practical excercizes/real case studies (each one with score=8). The total score is 32 corresponding to a 30 cum laude grade. The minimum score to pass the exam is 16, corresponding to a grade equal to 18.

The oral test of Health Statistics consists of two parts. The first one refers to the description of some sources of data in health statistics and features of main epidemiologic studies (score=10). In the second part, the theoretical aspects of the measures of association and causal effects are evaluated (score=20).

The exam is globally passed when these tests are sufficient for both parts of the integrated course of Biostatistics. The final evaluation, given in marks out of 30, represents an averaged syntesis of the results obtained from both the exams.

During the lectures' period, an intermediate compter test of Health Statistics is carried out, following the same assessment methods as described before.

In case of ONLINE exam

  1. the computer test is provided by using EOL, using the virtual computer lab (or STATA locally installed) and connecting via TEAMS
  2. the oral test is carried out via TEAMS.


Teaching tools

Projector, PC, chalkboard, statistical softwares.

Office hours

See the website of Giulia Roli