Proportion of a population found to have a condition (typically a disease or a risk factor such as smoking or seat-belt use).
Measures existing cases of a disease at a particular point in time or over a period of time.
Used to asses health status of a population
Planning and health services
Often only measure possible with chronic disease where cases cannot be easily detected
Does not identify risk factors
Makes no sense for acute or short duration diseases
- Point Prevalence-one point in time
- Period Prevalence-longer duration of time