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Glossary of Terms   Download this section




Air Quality Management Area


A declaration that a specific area is not meeting nationally defined health based air quality objectives.


Alcohol specific / alcohol attributable conditions)



Conditions such as alcoholic liver disease where alcohol is the sole cause are known as alcohol-specific.  For partially alcohol-attributable conditions alcohol has a proven relationship but it is one of a range of causative factors e.g. cardiac arrhythmias.



Body Mass Index (BMI)



Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most common and accessible way of measuring body fatness in adults.  BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by  height in metres squared.


Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)


NHS organisations set up by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 to deliver NHS services in England.  Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) replaced primary care trusts as the commissioners of most services funded by the NHS in England.


Confidence Interval


A range of values that is used to quantify the imprecision in the estimate of a particular indicator. A wider interval shows that the indicator value presented is likely to be a less precise estimate of the true underlying value.


Comparator group


Groups of local authorities (or CCGs) who are judged to be similar to York on certain characteristics e.g. demographic, socio-economic or geographic variables.  Local performance is benchmarked against these groups




One of ten segments of a distribution that has been divided into tenths. For example, in relation to socio economic deprivation the bottom decile would be the most deprived 10% of the population.


Dependency (alcohol)



A cluster of behavioural, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that typically include a strong desire to consume alcohol, and difficulties in controlling drinking.



Fuel Poverty



A household is in fuel poverty if it has an income below the poverty line (once fuel costs have been accounted for) and if its energy costs are above those for a typical household. 




The number of cases of disease that have their onset during a prescribed period of time. It is often expressed as a rate. Incidence is a measure of morbidity or other events that occur within a specified period of time. (See related - prevalence).



Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)



This combines a number of indicators, chosen to cover a range of economic, social and housing issues, into a single deprivation score for each small area in England.  It shows some detailed information about the levels of deprivation.



Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)



A local assessment of need which is the responsibility of Health and Wellbeing Boards to produce.  Locally, this analyses and identifies the current and future health and wellbeing needs in York and the wider NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group populations.


Life expectancy at birth



The average number of years a person would expect to live based on contemporary mortality rates.


Life expectancy at birth (healthy)


The average number of years a person would expect to live in good health based on contemporary mortality rates and prevalence of self-reported good health.



Long-term Conditions (LTC)



Long-term conditions are those that cannot, at present, be cured, but can be controlled by medication and other therapies.



Lower Super Output Area



Areas of roughly 1,500 residents and 650 households used by the Office for National Statistics to record and report on a range of measures e.g. age, employment status, ethnicity of its residents.



Middle Super Output Area



Areas with a minimum size of 5,000 residents and 3,000 households with an average population size of 7,500 used by the Office for National Statistics to record and report on a range of measures e.g. age, employment status, ethnicity of its residents.




Morbidity / mortality rate


Information relating to numbers of people affected by disease (morbidity) or numbers of deaths (mortality) expressed as a rate (for example, the number of cases per 10,000 population).





Young people (aged between 16-18) who are Not in Education, Employment or Training


Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment



A statutory requirement under section 128A of the National Health Service Act (NHS) 2006 which requires an assessment of current services provided by community pharmacies and dispensing doctors



Population Demography



Demography is the statistical study of human populations.  “Demo” means “the people” and “graphy” means “measurement”.  It is a science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic living population, i.e., one that changes over time or space.  It aims to study the size, structure and distribution of populations and any changes in them in relation to birth, migration, ageing and death.


Potential years of life lost (PYLL)


An estimate of the average years a person would have lived if he or she had not died prematurely. It is, therefore, a measure of premature mortality. As a method, it is an alternative to death rates that gives more weight to deaths that occur among younger people. Another alternative is to consider the effects of both disability and premature death using disability adjusted life years.


Premature Mortality


Deaths before age 75.




Measures the number of cases of a disease or condition in a population at a particular point in time or over a specified time period.




One of five segments of a distribution that has been divided into fifths. For example, in relation to socio economic deprivation the bottom quintile would be the most deprived 20% of the population.



Quit Rates (Smoking)


The number of people who have successfully quit smoking for 4 weeks.



A measure of the intensity of the occurrence of an event. For example, the mortality rate equals the number who die in one year divided by the number at risk of dying. Rates usually are expressed using a standard denominator such 1,000 or 100,000 people.


Rate (age standardised)


Age-standardisation adjusts rates to take into account how many old or young people are in the different populations. When rates are age-standardised, the differences in the rates over time or between geographical areas do not simply reflect variations in the age structure of the populations.


Slope Index of Inequality



The range in years of life expectancy across the social gradient within each local authority, from most to least deprived.


Structured treatment (substance misuse)



Structured drug and alcohol treatment consists of a comprehensive package of specialist interventions. It addresses needs that would not be expected to respond to less intensive or non-specialist interventions alone. It requires a comprehensive assessment of need, and is delivered according to a recovery care plan, which is regularly reviewed with the client.






Variance measures how far a set of numbers is spread out.  A variance of zero indicates that all the values are identical. A small variance indicates that the data tend to be very close to the mean average, while a high variance indicates that the data are very spread out around the mean average and from each other.


Wider determinants of health


The factors that affect health including genetic factors, lifestyle, social and community networks, cultural and environmental conditions.


This page was last updated on 25 March 2022
This page will be reviewed by 25 March 2023