## Aims and objectives

### Aim

This session has three aims. First, it introduces the basic measures of mortality – crude and age-specific mortality rates. Second, it demonstrates how comparison of crude rates can produce misleading results when the age distributions of the populations are dissimilar. Finally, it introduces two approaches to attenuate this confounding of crude rates, thereby making comparisons more valid.

### Objectives

After working through this session, you will be able to:

- Explain the uses of mortality statistics
- Define, from both statistical and demographic perspectives, what is meant by ‘death’
- Identify and assess the sources of data used in mortality analyses
- Calculate, and evaluate, the limitations of basic measures of mortality
- Calculate mortality rates that are adjusted to control for confounding by means of standardization

This session will take approximately **3 hours** to complete.