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Locating health-related data and statistics can feel overwhelming! Below you will find resources to help you locate health-related data in order to describe the health disparities affecting citizens of your county and understand the factors that contribute to them . Please keep in mind that this guide is not comprehensive; rather, it provides links to frequently used health data and statistics websites.
Here are a couple things to keep in mind when trying to locate health-related data:
Think in terms of major stakeholders. Who is likely to be responsible for keeping track of data on a particular health-related topic? Who cares about the topic?
Compiling data does take time. Therefore data from the past few years may have to suffice as "recent" data.
Sometimes you are able to find statistics through a simple Google search, by search for your topic along with the word statistics.
This comprehensive subject guide includes some of the major sources of health and general statistics in the United States and a brief list of international resources. Resources include print and online publications, databases, data sets, online tools, and websites. The majority are from U.S. government agencies.
Major Producers of Health Statistics
The U.S. government collects a huge amount of health data. Agency websites serve as portals to finding health statistics on all kinds of topics, so they make a great starting place in your search for statistical information.
A portal to several CDC databases concerning health-related topics for public health information and numerical data sets such as AIDS/STDs, risk behaviors (the Behavioral Risk Surveillance System), mortality and natality statistics.
The NCHS is the nation's principal health statistics agency. It is a unit of the CDC. The NCHS homepage is also a central point for health statistics searchable by topic, links to surveys, publications, and other online tools.
Another agency under DHHS, its focus is on "improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities." OMH's data and issue briefs are particularly helpful.
The World Health Organization is an agency of the United Nations and is an international coordinating agency for public health. Major WHO databases include the Global Health Observatory (national statistics for health indicators), WHO Global Infobase Online (chronic diseases and risk factors), and the Global Health Atlas. Data is also accessible by topical categories.
The Health Data Explorer provides access to health data for North Carolina counties in an interactive, user-friendly atlas of maps, tables, and charts. It allows users to select, visualize, explore and download data on major disease mortality, disparities between groups, social and economic factors, and health behaviors. It is produced by East Carolina University’s Center for Health Services Research and Development and Center for Health Disparities Research.
"This data snapshot provides information about uninsured individuals in North Carolina, including family income, race/ethnicity, workforce status, firm size, age, citizenship, rural/urban residence, health status, and industry. Uninsured estimates are presented for 2008-2009, using data from the US Census Bureau."
This annual publication highlights and summarizes key indicators and outcomes of child health and well-being. Produced by North Carolina Institute of Medicine, in collaboration with NC Child (formerly Action for Children North Carolina).
Consortium of agencies cooperating with the US Bureau of the Census to provide the public with data about the state and its component geographic areas. Includes projections in population of counties by age, gender, race, and Hispanic origin.
[From the site]: For more than 20 years, the Dartmouth Atlas Project has documented glaring variations in how medical resources are distributed and used in the United States. The project uses Medicare data to provide comprehensive information and analysis about national, regional, and local markets, as well as individual hospitals and their affiliated physicians.
Health, United States is an annual report on trends in health statistics. Presents national trends in health statistics. Each report includes an executive summary, highlights, a chartbook, trend tables, extensive appendixes, and an index. Produced by the National Center for Health Statistics.