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Public Health Research Guide: Resources for Public Health Educators

An introduction to resources that will assist in Public Health research.

Federal Data Sets - National Library of Medicine


  • AGing Integrated Database (AGID) - (Administration on Aging (AOA) U.S.)  - On-line query system based on AoA-related data files and surveys, and includes population characteristics from the Census Bureau for comparison purposes. The system allows users to produce customized tables in a step-by-step process and output the results in print or spreadsheet form.
  • AHRQ Kids' Inpatient Database - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - The Kid's Inpatient Database (KID)is produced every 3 years and is a unique and powerful nationwide database of hospital stays for children. It is a sample of pediatric discharges (age 20 or younger at admission) from community, non-rehabilitation hospitals from States participating in HCUP. The KID is the only dataset on hospital use, outcomes, and charges designed to study children's use of hospital services in the United States.
  • American Fact Finder - (U.S. Census Bureau)  - An interactive database that is searchable for data from multiple data sources
  • CDC Wonder - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))  - Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research. Access statistical research data published by CDC; Public-use data sets about deaths, cancer incidence, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, vaccinations, births, census data and many other topics are available for query.
  • - (Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics)  - This Website offers easy access to statistics and reports on children and families, including: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education and health. The Forum fosters coordination, collaboration, and integration of Federal efforts to collect and report data on conditions and trends for children and families.
  • CMS Chart Series - (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS))  - Data on spending, operations, and quality of care.
  • CMS:Data and Systems - (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS))  - Link to the CMS webpage with hyperlinks to CMS data and systems, files for order, statistics, trends, and reports, research, and monitoring programs.
  • Community Health Data Initiative - (National Center for Health Statistics, CDC (NCHS))  - The Community Health Data Initiative is a collaborative effort among government and non-government partners to establish a network of suppliers and demanders of community health data, indicators, and interventions. Its purpose is to help Americans understand health and health care system performance in their communities, thereby sparking and facilitating action to improve performance and value.
  • Comprehensive Epidemiologic Data Resource - (Department of Energy (DOE) U.S.)  - CEDR is a public-use repository of data from occupational and environmental health studies of workers at DOE facilities and nearby community residents.
  • Data Sets: Open Government - (Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) U.S.)  - Search HHS agency datasets, including an interactive CMS dashboard, which allows the public to visualize and analyze Medicare spending, starting with inpatient hospital spending.
  • Emergency Department Visitors and Visits - Who Used the ER in 2007? icon - (National Center for Health Statistics, CDC (NCHS))  - Report released in May 2010. Key findings include Older adults (aged 75 and over), non-Hispanic black persons, poor persons, and persons with Medicaid coverage were more likely to have had at least one emergency department (ED) visit in a 12-month period than those in other age, race, income, and insurance groups.
  • Emergency Response Safety and Health Database - (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC (NIOSH))  - The Emergency Response Safety and Health Database (ERSH-DB) is an occupational safety and health database developed by NIOSH for the emergency response community. The ERSH-DB contains accurate and concise information on high-priority chemical, biological and radiological agents that could be encountered by personnel responding to a terrorist event.
  • FedStats - Provides links to Federal data access tools as well as statistics from more than 100 agencies.
  • Gateway to Data and Statistics - (HHS Data Council, Department of Health and Human Services)  - This web-based tool brings together key health and human services data and statistics.
  • Geographic Information Systems - (National Cancer Institute, NIH (NCI))  - Serves as a central source of information about GIS and related resources. It consists primarily of links to other relevant sites.
  • Health Data Interactive - (National Center for Health Statistics, CDC (NCHS))  - Tables with national health statistics for infants, children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. Tables can be customized by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and geographic location to explore different trends and patterns.
  • Health Economics Resource Center - (Health Services Research and Development Service, Veterans Administration (HSR&D))  - National center located in Menlo Park, CA that assists VA researchers in assessing the cost-effectiveness of medical care, evaluating the efficiency of VA programs and providers, and conducting high-quality health economics research. Provides aggregate data and findings about veterans. This site includes socio-economic data, the demographic characteristics of veterans, the geographical distribution of the veteran population, and other statistical data and information by veteran program.
  • Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - HCUP is a family of health care databases and related products developed through a Federal-State-Industry partnership. HCUP produces powerful, comprehensive, health care data that can be used to identify, track, and analyze national, regional, and state trends in health care utilization, access, charges, quality, and outcomes. The HCUP databases and related tools have been used in more than 900 peer-reviewed publications and also support Congressionally-mandated studies.
  • HRSA Geospatial Data Warehouse - (Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA))  - The Geospatial Data Warehouse and its associated applications provides access to information about HRSA programs and related health resources including data on health professional shortage areas, medically underserved areas, and primary care service areas.
  • HRSA National Health Center Data - (Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA))  - Each year HRSA health center grantees are required to report core set of information that is appropriate for monitoring and evaluating performance and for reporting on annual trends. Access national data by year.
  • Integrated Health Interview Series - (Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota US, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH (NICHD))  - A harmonized set of data and documentation based on material originally included in the public use files of the U.S. National Health Interview Survey . Consists of over 1000 integrated variables selected from more than 2000 variables included in the core survey household and person files for 1969 forward, the sample adult/sample child files for 1997 forward, and the Access to Care supplements for 1993-96.
  • Medicare Coverage Database - (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS))  - The Medicare Coverage Database (MCD) contains all National Coverage Determinations (NCDs) and Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs), local policy articles, and proposed NCD decisions. The database also includes several other types of national coverage policy related documents, including national coverage analyses (NCAs), coding analyses for labs (CALs), Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MedCAC) proceedings, and Medicare coverage guidance documents.
  • National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))  - The Nation's principal health statistics agency. Looks at outcomes, access, literature synthesis, public reporting, underserved, quality, data collection methods, etc. Access data, reports, surveys, and tools.
  • National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))  - NHSN is a secure, internet-based surveillance system that integrates patient and healthcare personnel safety surveillance systems. The Patient Safety Component of NHSN allows entry of event and denominator data for both device-associated and procedure-associated events as well as data entry for microbiology susceptibility and antimicrobial use. The data analysis features of NHSN range from rate tables and graphs to statistical analysis that compares the healthcare facility's rates with national performance measures.
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Databases Resources - (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA))  - Links to datasets such as COMBINE (Combined Pharmacotherapies and Behavioral Interventions for Alcohol Dependence), Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Science Database (commonly referred to as ETOH), the Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS), etc.
  • Nationwide Emergency Department Sample - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) is one in a family of databases and software tools developed as part of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a Federal-State-Industry partnership sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. HCUP data inform decision-making at the national, State, and community levels.
  • Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - The HCUP Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) is a set of longitudinal hospital inpatient databases included in the HCUP family. These databases are created by AHRQ through a Federal-State-Industry partnership.
  • NHDRnet Online Query System - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - Access national data for quality of health care, access to health care, or for priority populations (race, ethnicity, income, or education) derived from the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR).
  • NIMH Limited Access Data Sets - (National Institute of Mental Health, NIH (NIMH))  - Web page provides information on limited access data sets and how to gain access to them.
  • Profiles of America - (United States Department of Agriculture (USDA))  - This Internet-based information system allows one to manipulate various socioeconomic data series used in many Economic Resource Service (ERS) products. Use the interactive tools to create and manipulate charts, maps, and tables-including multidimensional tables, such as poverty rates by metro/nonmetro status.
  • Safety Net Monitoring - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - Baseline data and tools to help monitor the status of local safety nets in providing health care to low-income and other vulnerable populations.
  • Scientific Data, Surveillance, & Injury Statistics - (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC)  - Descriptions and links to interactive statistics and mapping systems including WISQUARS ((Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) the interactive, online database that provides customized injury-related mortality data and nonfatal injury data and Injury Maps an interactive mapping system.
  • SEER-Medicare Linked Database - (National Cancer Institute, NIH (NCI))  - SEER-Medicare data reflect the linkage of two large population-based sources of data that provide detailed information about elderly persons with cancer. The data can be used for an array of epidemiological and health services research.
  • Social Security Administration Data - The Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics under the Deputy Commissioner of Retirement and Disability Policy is the agency's source for statistics on the impact and operations of the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs and on the earnings of the working and beneficiary populations. Download data sets.
  • Social Security Statistical Tables - (Office of the Chief Actuary, U.S. Social Security Administration)  - Links to statistical tables, i.e., old-age and survivors insurance trust fund.
  • SSI Annual Statistical Report 2008 - (Social Security Administration (SSA))  - Since 1974, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program has guaranteed a minimum level of income for needy aged, blind, or disabled individuals. Each year, we issue a report that presents data on the SSI program and the people who receive benefits from it.
  • United States Data Renal System - (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH (NIDDK))  - Access and request data, annual reports, presentations and slides. The United States Renal Data System (USRDS) is a national data system that collects, analyzes, and distributes information about end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States. The USRDS is funded directly by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). USRDS staff collaborates with members of CMS, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), and the ESRD networks, sharing datasets and actively working to improve the accuracy of ESRD patient information.
  • VA Data Sources - (Health Services Research and Development Service, Veterans Administration (HSR&D))  - Links to data sources and data sets within the VA. Includes instructions on how to request permission to access VA data.
  • Women's Health USA 2008 - (Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA))  - The data book was developed by HRSA to provide readers with an easy-to-use collection of current and historical data on some of the most pressing health challenges facing women, their families, and their communities.
  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))  - Monitors priority health-risk behaviors and the prevalence of obesity and asthma among youth and young adults. The YRBSS includes a national school-based survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state, territorial, tribal, and local surveys conducted by state, territorial, and local education and health agencies and tribal governments.
  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))  - The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors priority health-risk behaviors and the prevalence of obesity and asthma among youth and young adults.