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Say I am studying a particular disease and I know that its incidence is 0.8 per 100000 children below the age of 18, how would I find the incidence of a whole bunch of other pediatric diseases (or even not just limited to pediatrics)?

Essentially I want to find diseases that would be familiar to a medical audience and provide an example of a disease with an incidence of about 0.8 per 100000, another one that is one tenth the incidence and another one that is ten times the incidence.

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3 Answers

About diseases in general, that would concern the health dept. of the respective country government, and the govt. is the most probable source for such numbers.

However, orpha.net has two reports with numbers concerning hereditary diseases, have a look at http://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/Education_Home.php?lng=EN#REPORT_RARE_DISEASES

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Pretty good. The list details prevalence. I would prefer incidence but if prevalence is all I can get then I will settle for prevalence. –  Farrel Aug 15 '12 at 20:16
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The Center for Disease Control is a great source for disease statistics. I didn't find a chart with common disease incidence on their website, but if you search for a specific disease you should be able to find the incidence.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/

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Nice resource but not for what I am trying to find. I specifically am looking for a listing of incidences across many disease all in one place. I could search for any disease in pubmed (or even better I could start my search from MESH headings) and specify that I am looking for statistics or incidence. –  Farrel Aug 23 '12 at 21:45
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A couple resources that might be of use:

If you subscribe to it (annoyingly, I cannot get at my copy), the American Academy of Pediatric's Red Book may contain incidence figures. I don't recall, but it contains a remarkable amount of information in it.

For viral diseases, most if not all entries in Fields Virology have an Epidemiology section, and many of these touch on the incidence rate, especially for more common diseases.

In addition to the CDC (listed in another answer), take a look at the Agency for Healthcare Quality Research (AHRQ)'s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) data. While this will only give you incidence in terms of hospitalizations rather than all cases, it may be potentially useful.

Beyond that, I'd suggest looking for particular papers, or search for "DISEASE OF INTEREST" meta-analysis in Google Scholar or PubMed for overall incidence figures.

Additionally, a useful formula:

Prevalence = Incidence * Duration. Which in turn means Prevalence/Duration = Incidence. If you can find those two pieces of information, you can calculate the incidence for what you want.

There's also a way to extract incidence from a mathematical modeling paper about a disease which reports an R0 figure, but that may be a touch technical given your stated desires.

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