Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
in medical statistics, the ratio of the number of deaths from a disease, injury, or circumstance to the number suffering from the disease, injury, or circumstance, expressed in percent and calculated for a given period of time (usually a year).
The following types of lethality are distinguished: hospital lethality, the ratio of the number of persons who die in a hospital from a given disease to the number hospitalized with the disease; extrahospital lethality, the ratio of the number of persons who die from a disease to the number suffering from the disease and treated outside of a hospital; and total lethality, the ratio of the number of persons who die from a disease to the total number affected with the same disease, in and outside of the hospital.
Lethality is one of the criteria of the efficacy of therapeutic agents, methods of treatment, and medical institutions (promptness of medical care, start of therapy, duration and character of hospitalization, availability of surgical treatment, quality of care).
Lethality should not be confused with mortality, which refers to the rate of death in a population.
G. N. SOBOLEVSKII