Public Health

Articles, books, statistics, how to cite references, and more information about the multidisciplinary field of public health.

Statistics and Data about the United States

 

https://www.nnlm.gov/node/10694

Aging-related Statistics -- Data from several federal agencies about the aging population in the United States, including Older Americans 2020: Key Indicators of Well-Being.

  • The report has six subject areas: "population, economics, health status, health risks and behaviors, health care, and environment."


National Archives of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA) -- The NACDA acquires and preserves data relevant to gerontological research, and distributes them to researchers. This is the "largest library of electronic data on aging in the United States." (The NACDA is part of the ICPSR.)

Statistical information about Baltimore and Maryland.

In other library research guides:

More sources of statistical information:

 

Here is the "Demographics" page from the Data and Statistics guide. It lists many tools with information about the United States, including American Fact Finder, data.gov, Simply Map, and the Statistical Abstract of the United States. (Librarian Jim Gillispie [jeg@jhu.edu] can also help you with statistics.)

  • This page has helpful tips about using each resource, so please read carefully

In addition, data.census.gov is the Census Bureau's new data platform. It is a one-stop place to find data about everything that affects the United States, including demographics, disability, health topics, income and poverty, race, and many more. You can search particular topics by U.S. states or counties, and create tables and maps. NOTE: Chrome works best with this site.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) -- The CDC's "premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services. [It] now collects data in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories."

Incidence: "The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from Prevalence, which refers to all cases, new or old, in the population at a given time." [MeSH definition]

One of the best ways to get incidence/prevalence data is to look at journal articles in PubMed and EMBASE.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System - This CDC site lists state-by-state health surveys that collect information about health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and health care access, primarily related to chronic disease and injury.

Cancer

  • Cancer Statistics Center (American Cancer Society) - Easy to use, providing statistics about many topics including "estimated new cancer cases and deaths by sex, state, and cancer type; current cancer incidence, mortality, and survival rates and trends for individual cancer sites; and risk factors (e.g.: smoking, obesity) and screening rates by state." It includes downloadable maps, graphs, and charts, or you can create your own.
  • SEER (Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results; National Cancer Institute) - Here is an overview. The NCI collects information on incidence, survival, and prevalence from  geographic areas that represent ~26% of the U.S, population, and compiles reports about this plus cancer mortality for the entire US.
    --- These fact sheets include incidence rates.

Cochrane Library - This group of databases, which can all be searched at once, provides reviews and comparative information about diseases, conditions, treatments, and more. The databases contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making.

  • NOTE: The ones with the "review" icon are the ones with discussion and conclusions, not the "protocol" icons

Diabetes Data and Statistics --The CDC Diabetes Surveillance System collects, analyzes, and disseminates data on diabetes and its complications. Charts and tables can be generated for data such as prevalence, incidence, and complications.

Emerging Diseases -- The ProMED-Mail program monitors emerging diseases. It is a central information site whose team of experts reviews and investigates reports before posting to the network. ProMED-mail currently reaches 185 countries.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) -- Health workers report certain kinds of diseases and injuries to their state public health departments, who report them to the CDC, which publishes them in the MMWR. Here are the descriptions of the publications. You can also use the Advanced Search (left column) or the alphabet on top to search for your topic.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR; CDC) -- The ATSDR provides information about chemicals and human health, including public health assessments of waste sites, information development and dissemination, and education and training concerning hazardous substances.

Environmental Protection Agency -- The EPA protects human health and the environment. Here is more information about what they do.

  • See "Science and Technology" for topics including health, pesticides, and water

Health Effects Institute -- Does research about and provides information on the health effects of air pollution. (See Research Reports.)

National Center for Environmental Health (CDC) -- This center tracks and evaluates environment-related health problems, and also helps agencies and organizations prepare for and respond to natural, technologic, humanitarian, and terrorism-related environmental emergencies.

  • See "Data Resources" [on the right side of the page] for more information

National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals (CDC)

TOXNET -- This database was retired in November 2019. Here is the list of databases where that content can now be found. These include the Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) and TOXLINE, which is the "PubMed" for toxic substances.

 

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) -- This agency works to improve the quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness of health care throughout the U.S. It has data on healthcare expenditures; reports about specific populations such as children, women, and minorities; and much more. Here is the Research Tools and Data page.

Census Bureau -- data.census.gov is the Census Bureau's new data platform. It is a one-stop place to find data about everything that affects the United States, including disability, emergency preparedness, health topics, income and poverty, race, and many more. You can search particular topics by U.S. states or counties, and create tables and maps. NOTE: Chrome works best with this site.

Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) - These surveys show medical and dental expenditures from individuals and families (the household component). This is a brief, general overview of MEPS.

  • These data give ages and ethnicities as well as types of expenditure, such as ER use
  • Here is what kind of data it has
  • The data from insurance companies and employers (the insurance/employer component) are *not* public
  • The data are somewhat general and take some digging to use
  • No medical devices are listed

Medicare (CMS; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) - Lots of information. Here is the page for page for research, statistics, data, and reports.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) -- Under "Health and Education" is the Statistics site. The major headings are and some of the things they cover are:

  • Prevalence -- Of depression, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, many more
  • Disability -- Categories of diseases and disorders
  • Suicide --  Rates and causes
  • Cost -- Of mental health care and conditions
  • Global -- Numbers of Years Lived with Disability (YLD) and more

StateHealthFacts -- A Kaiser Foundation site that provides detailed information about each states health expenditures, insurance coverage, and other information by demographic group.

U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) -- Here's their page about healthcare. This site also includes testimony and other information about health care cost projections and related topics.

Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions -- This site includes information about Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities (EHDIC), a study done in southwest Baltimore in 2003.

How many healthcare practitioners of any kind are there in X state or metropolitan area?

1.  Use the Occupational Outlook Handbook to get the latest numbers and projections for the next 10 years

2.  Use the 2015 State Physician Workforce Data Book to see the number of physicians per state

3.  Use the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics search tool called Occupational Employment Statistics. You can search for:

  • Multiple occupations for one geographical area
  • One occupation for multiple geographical areas
  • Multiple occupations for one industry
  • One occupation for multiple industries

On this page, scroll down to "Healthcare Practitioner and Technical Occupations," "Healthcare Support Occupations," or other category of occupation.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) -- This agency works to improve the quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness of health care throughout the U.S. It has data on healthcare expenditures; reports about specific populations such as children, women, and minorities; and much more. Here is the Research Tools and Data page.

  • The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) collects the data from "State data organizations, hospital associations, private data organizations, and the Federal government," and "includes the largest collection of longitudinal hospital care data in the United States," beginning in 1988
  • The databases within HCUPnet (middle column of the page) help research on health policy issues including cost and quality of health services, medical practice patterns, access to health care programs, and outcomes of treatments at the national, State, and local market levels"
  • The national statistics are updated annually, and state statistics are updated as new State data are processed
  • There is at least an 18-month lag between the end of the calendar year and the availability of the National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample (NIS)

HCUPnet -- Note: You must use ICD-9 codes to search, and *not* ICD-10 (which didn't start until October 1, 2015).

  1.  --> Before you go to HCUPnet, get an ICD-9 code
     
  2. Go to the HCUPnet page, and choose "new analysis"
  3. Choose "inpatient" or "emergency department." If you choose "ambulatory surgery" instead, note that only about 2/3 of U.S. hospitals submit data for this, so you have to add another 1/3 to your results
  4. Choose "descriptive statistics," year, and "yes"
  5. You should probably choose "diagnoses - ICD-9" or "procedures - ICD-9"
  6. At the bottom, choose "use ICD code"

-------------------------------------------------
American Hospital ASSOCIATION (AHA) -- The AHA's "Research and Trends" section has statistics and reports about health care costs, hospital financing, and much more.

------------------------------------------------

American Hospital DIRECTORY -- This is a database and is [not affiliated with the AHA]. It has data for 6,000+ U.S. hospitals, from public and private sources such as Medicare claims data, hospital cost reports, and other data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

  • Data include type of hospital, services provided, number of patients admitted and discharged, department financials, and tons of other useful information
  • The username and password are both welch1
  • NOTE: only 5 people at a time can use this database, so please log out when you're finished!
  • Tutorials

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System - This CDC site lists state-by-state health surveys that collect information about health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and health care access, primarily related to chronic disease and injury.

Cochrane Library - This group of databases, which can all be searched at once, provides reviews and comparative information about diseases, conditions, treatments, and more. The databases contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making.

  • NOTE: The ones with the "review" icon are the ones with discussion and conclusions, not the "protocol" icons

Injury Prevention and Control (CDC) -- This is WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System), which has data about fatal and non-fatal injuries, leading causes of death, costs of injuries and violence, and more.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) -- Health workers report certain kinds of diseases and injuries to their state public health departments, who report them to the CDC, which publishes them in the MMWR. Here are the descriptions of the publications. You can also use the Advanced Search (left column) or the alphabet on top to search for your topic.

National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS; part of Consumer Product Safety Commission) - Estimates of the "number of product-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms" in the U.S. and its territories.

National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center -- Statistics and more. Also, the National Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems (SCIMS) Database allows free use for data through August 31, 2021. There is also a limited dataset for after September 2021, which requires a proposal and other information in order to use it.

SafetyLit -- These are "summaries of reports about injury occurrence and risk factors. Articles are considered relevant if they concern any of the pre-event or event elements of the Haddon Matrix; the epidemiology of injury; or the financial, personal, or societal costs or consequences of the any injury or risk factor." (Content is not screened for quality.)              .

 

Homeland Security Office of Immigration Data and Statistics -- Includes population estimates, trends, fact sheets, more

PubMed articles with the MeSH heading of Emigrants and Immigrants/statistics and numerical data

  • These are very specific, so make sure to add more words to your search

EMBASE uses the Emtree heading "Immigration"

  • The results will overlap with PubMed, but there will be many unique results
  • EMBASE does not have durable URLs, so if you want to include subject headings in your search, start by using Emtree (at the top)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) -- Under "Health and Education" is the Statistics site. The major headings are and some of the things they cover are:

  • Prevalence -- Of depression, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, many more
  • Disability -- Categories of diseases and disorders
  • Suicide --  Rates and causes
  • Cost -- Of mental health care and conditions
  • Global -- Numbers of Years Lived with Disability (YLD) and more


Maryland -- Departmental of Mental Health and Hygiene, Maryland.gov -- Look on the bottom right under "Reports & Statistics" for stats on Maryland deaths and their causes (e.g., cardiovascular disease, neoplasms); births, deaths, birth rates and life expectancy by race and sex; and drug overdoses.

National Vital Statistics Reports -- These CDC publications cover provisional birth, death, marriage, and divorce statistics. (The annual "special reports" give the final data on births for the previous year.)

StateHealthFacts -- A Kaiser Foundation site that provides detailed information about each states health expenditures, insurance coverage, and other information by demographic group.