Historical Application of Statistics in the Field of Health Care

Topic: Healthcare Research
Words: 392 Pages: 1

The development of statistics in healthcare, as well as statistics in general, has its history and peculiarities. The first attempts at calculating the average life expectancy were made in the second century AD. In the Middle Ages, they were continued in the form of the “Florentine Table” completed in 1526 (Petrie & Sabin, 2019). The basis of scientific population statistics was laid by the study of the cloth merchant J. Graunt in 1662 (Petrie & Sabin, 2019). Based on the data on births and mortality in London, he completed a table of life expectancy. This first work was of great importance for the development of population statistics.

In the XIX century, out of population statistics, statistics in healthcare were singled out for the first time. The first manual on medical statistics was published in Germany in 1865 (Petrie & Sabin, 2019). At the beginning of the twentieth century, numerous studies in the field of medical statistics began to appear, especially in Germany, England, and the United States. An illustration of the development of medical statistics was the international hygiene exhibition in Dresden in 1911, where statistical data from all countries of the world were presented (Petrie & Sabin, 2019). The creation of statistics on causes of death was of great importance for the development of statistics in healthcare. The first attempt to create it was made by the International Statistical Congress in 1853 (Petrie & Sabin, 2019). The scientific discussion took place at the session of the International Statistical Institute in Chicago.

In the XIX century, based on the application of higher mathematics by biometric schools in England and the United States developed new research methods. Subsequently, they were successfully used in medical statistics. The focus of research has expanded. Studies of the dependence of the mortality rate on social causes such as occupation have become relevant. Daniil Bernoulli (1700-1788) was one of the first doctors who left a mark in the history of sanitary statistics (Walters et al., 2021). He studied the importance of vaccinations against smallpox to reduce mortality and increase life expectancy. With the help of statistical methods, he managed to prove that vaccination was an effective method of disease prevention. These conclusions were revolutionary for their times and gave rise to the development of vaccination as a science that, in further years, has allowed saving thousands of lives.


Petrie, A., & Sabin, C. (2019). Medical statistics at a glance. John Wiley & Sons.

Walters, S. J., Campbell, M. J., & Machin, D. (2021). Medical statistics: a textbook for the health sciences. John Wiley & Sons.

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