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Absolute risk reduction The absolute value of the arithmetic difference in the event rates of the treated and untreated groups.

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Adherence The extent that a patient follows the recommendations about day-to-day treatment by a provider with respect to timing, dosage, and frequency. The measure presumes that the provider received input from the patient. Typically measured as a proportion of the number of doses consumed, compared to the number of doses expected to be consumed. SYNONYM compliance.

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Adjusted estimate The measure of association estimated in the presence of the potential confounders; it can be thought of as the association between exposure and outcome while mathematically holding constant all of the observed confounding variables.

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Adverse event Any untoward medical occurrence in a patient or clinical investigation subject administered a pharmaceutical product and which does not necessarily have to have a causal relationship with the product.

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Adverse drug reaction or adverse drug effect An adverse outcome that is harmful or unpleasant that occurs while a patient is taking a drug product and has a causal relationship with the drug.

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Age-adjusted mortality rate The death rate that would occur if the observed age-specific death rates were present in a population with an age distribution equal to that of a standard population.

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Age-specific mortality rate The total number of deaths from all causes during a specified period of time in a specific age category divided by the total number of persons in that age category in the population during that period.

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Alternative hypothesis A statement of what one chooses to believe if the evidence provided in the sample data lead to a rejection of the null hypothesis.

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Analysis of variance (ANOVA) A procedure that can be used to compare the means from populations defined by three or more groups (can actually be used for two groups as well as the t test is actually a special case of ANOVA).

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Association When two events occur together repeatedly. This repeated occurrence takes place more often than a chance occurrence.

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Atomistic fallacy The fallacy associated with taking conclusions from a study looking at individual patients and applying them to entire groups; this fallacy occurs because relationships and characteristics at the individual patient level may not apply categorically to an overall group of patients; compare with the ecologic fallacy.

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Automated health care database A database that consists of data automatically captured as the result of the provision of care; contents of these databases may include administrative claims or transactional or operational data, such as drug dispensing data.

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Bias It occurs when the groups under study are treated in a consistently different manner. The existence of a bias causes a study to produce incorrect results.

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Biostatistics The application of statistical methods to the medical and health sciences, including ...

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