Index of Relative Social Disadvantage - Age-Specific Rates - Epidemiology Assignment Help

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Notes on completing this assignment:

  • Create a new document.  Do not include a cover page and do not put your name on your assignment.

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  • Answer the questions in order.

  • Use 12-point font except in Table 1, where you should use 10-point.

  • For questions that require calculation, show formulae and all your working unless otherwise instructed.

  • Your answers should be brief.  You can use dot points where appropriate.

  • We use “contingent” marking, which means that if your answer to a question is wrong, we do not deduct marks for subsequent answers that make use of the first answer.

  • There is no need to cite the Victorian Cancer Registry, the ABS or the Global Cancer Observatory.


This assignment is about cancer of the cervix uteri (which we will refer to as cervical cancer), which is almost exclusively due to infection by certain types of the human papilloma virus (HPV).  Most HPV infections clear quickly, but some persistent infections can lead to the development of cervical cancer.

In 2007, Australia was the first country to introduce a vaccine to prevent HPV infection.  You can read about the vaccine here.  Using a combination of the vaccine and screening for HPV, the World Health Organization has set a goal to eliminate cervical cancer.

For the first part of the assignment, you will perform calculations using data on cervical cancer incidence from 2009-2013 obtained from the Victorian Cancer Registry. The Registry records details of all cancers diagnosed in Victoria.

We wish to compare incidence by an area-based measure of social disadvantage. The Australian Bureau of Statistics uses census data to construct indices of social disadvantage.  One of these, which we use here, is called the Index of Relative Social Disadvantage (IRSD). 


  1. Which group had the higher incidence rates: women living in the most disadvantaged areas or women living in the least disadvantaged areas?

  1. Describe the patterns of age-specific rates separately for the most and least disadvantaged women.
    You might find this easier if you draw a graph showing the age-specific rates.  If you choose to draw a graph, it will not be assessed, and you will not be penalised for not drawing a graph.

  1. Describe and compare the patterns in the age-specific rate ratios and age-specific rate differences. 
    Drawing graphs of the age-specific rate ratios and rate differences might help you see the patterns better, but the graphs will not be assessed.

  1. We wish to use the rate differences to compare the rates for the most and least disadvantaged women.  What information would we lose if we ignore the age-specific rate differences and only use the crude rate difference (i.e., the all ages rate difference)?  

  2. Calculate the risk that a woman who was 25 years old in 2009 and living in the most disadvantaged areas would have been diagnosed with cervical cancer within 5 years.  Describe this risk in a sentence. Include only the sentence in your word count. 

What proportion of cervical cancer among the most disadvantaged women could have been prevented if they had the same incidence rate as the least disadvantaged women? Use the crude (i.e., all ages) rates in your calculation for this purpose.  Describe the result in a sentence. Include only the sentence in your word count.


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  • Uploaded By : Grace
  • Posted on : July 25th, 2018
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