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Links to Epidemiology Resources

Epidemiology Resources

Secondary Data Resources

Adolescent Health Survey
The National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health) was mandated by Congress to collect data for the purpose of measuring the impact of social environment on adolescent health. Contact for more information about obtaining data from this resource.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people - at home and abroad, providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships. CDC serves as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
HazDat, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's Hazardous Substance Release/Health Effects Database, is the scientific and administrative database developed to provide access to information on the release of hazardous substances from Superfund sites or from emergency events and on the effects of hazardous substances on the health of human populations.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the primary source of scientific data on adult risk behaviors for U.S. states and territories. BRFSS, the largest continuous telephone survey in the world, is active in each U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and monitors state and local trends in health-risk behaviors. BRFSS data may also be aggregated to provide national prevalence estimates. The BRFSS also monitors adult perceptions about the dangers of such behaviors. The goals of the BRFSS are to gather scientific data from each state on adult behaviors that endanger health and to provide researchers with these data so that they can design programs that will encourage adults to stop these behaviors.

CDC Wide-ranging OnLine Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER) is an easy-to-use system that provides a single point of access to a wide variety of CDC reports, guidelines and numeric public health data.

DATA 2010: The Healthy People 2010 Database
DATA2010 is an interactive database system developed by staff of the Health Promotion Statistics Branch at the National Center for Health Statistics. It contains the most recent monitoring data for tracking Healthy People 2010. Healthy People 2010 contains objectives that identify specific measures to monitor the health of Americans in the first decade of the 21st Century. Data for the population-based objective are presented separately for select populations, including race and ethnicity, gender, and either educational attainment or family income level. The objectives are organized into 28 focus areas, each representing an important public health area.

HealthComm KEY
HealthComm KEY is a database that contains comprehensive summaries of more than 200 articles about health communication research and practice. The database, developed by CDC's Office of Communication, is designed for researchers and program staff within CDC, and also for professionals, students, and others outside of CDC who are interested in health communication. Articles selected for the database were published between 1986 and 1996.

Human Genome Epidemiology Network (HuGENet™) Published Literature Database
The Human Genome Epidemiology Network (HuGENet™) Published Literature Database is part of the Genomics and Disease Prevention Information System (GDPInfo) database, which provides access to all of the documents available on the Office of Genomics and Disease Prevention's (OGDP) Web site, as well as links to relevant documents on other sites. The purpose of GDPInfo is to provide access to information and resources for guiding public health research, policy, and practice on using genetic information to improve health and prevent disease. HuGENet is a continuously updated database of published epidemiology articles on human genes dating back to October 2000 and featured in the CDC Office of Genomics and Disease Prevention (OGDP) Weekly Update. The database can be searched by gene, disease or interacting factors.

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
This Web site contains Injury Maps, CDC Injury Center's interactive mapping system that gives you access to the geographic distribution of injury-related mortality rates in the United States. Injury Maps allows you to create county-level and state-level maps of age-adjusted mortality rates for the entire United States and for individual states. In addition to Injury Maps, this site also provides access to WISQARS™ (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System), which is an interactive database system that provides customized reports of injury-related data.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)
The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) was created to obtain information about the prevalence of young people's risk behaviors. Developed by CDC in collaboration with federal, state, and private partners, this voluntary surveillance system includes a national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, as well as surveys conducted by state and local education and health agencies. The goals of the YRBSS are to provide researchers and public health professionals with data about the health-risk behaviors of young people and to use the survey data as the basis for programs to help young people avoid or stop behavior that endangers their health now or when they are older.

California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)
The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) is a database of health-related information collected using a biennial population-based survey of adults, adolescents, and children from all parts of the state. ASKCHIS lets you query the data and receive results free of charge. This is the largest state health survey and one of the largest health surveys in the United States.

Child Trends DataBank
The Child Trends DataBank is a one-stop-shop for the latest national trends and research on over 80 key indicators of child and youth well-being, with new indicators added each month. The DataBank delivers plain-language reporting, as well as color graphics and tables that can be downloaded directly into reports and presentations.

This is a launchpad to get to databases and statistics from over 100 U.S. Federal agencies.

Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health (JCUSH)
Canada partnered with the U.S. National Center Health Statistics (NCHS) for this one-time, random telephone survey performed in both the United States and Canada that provides comparative data on the amount and distribution of illness, the effects of disability and chronic impairments, health risk factors, and the kind of health services people receive. Public-use microdata files, documentation, and a report are available at or Users may also contact the NCHS information line at (866) 441-6247, or General Inquiries, Health Statistics Division, Statistics Canada, (613) 951-1746.

KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the U.S. Information is available in an annual data book and via interactive online databases that allow visitors to create free, customized data reports.

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is the nation's principal health statistics agency. This Web site includes an overview of NCHS's major surveys and data collection activities, presents data findings, and provides information about special activities and initiatives to improve access to, and the quality of, health statistics information. This Web site also has links to additional sources of health information and provides a way for you to query the information electronically to obtain answers to specific questions.

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
The Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (DHANES) is one of the survey divisions at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and conducts the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). NHANES refers to a family of health and nutrition examination surveys: NHES I, II, and II; NHANES II, NHANES III, Hispanic HANES, and NHANES 1999-2002. The surveys range from cross-sectional to longitudinal to community-based studies.

National Health Care Survey
The National Health Care Survey (NHCS) embraces a family of health care provider surveys, obtaining information about the facilities that supply health care, the services rendered, and the characteristics of the patients served. Each survey is based on a multistage sampling design that includes health care facilities or providers and patient records. Data are collected directly from the establishments and/or their records, rather than from the patients.

National Health Interview Survey
The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is a multipurpose health survey conducted annually by NCHS. It provides national estimates for a broad range of health measures for the U.S. civilian non-institutionalized population of adults, classified by sex, age, race and Hispanic origin, education, income, poverty status, health insurance coverage, marital status, place of residence, and region of residence for chronic condition prevalence, health status, functional limitations, health care access and utilization, health behaviors, and human immunodeficiency virus testing.

National Survey of Family Growth
The National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) was conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in 1973, 1976, 1988, 1995, 2002, and 2003. These surveys were based on personal interviews conducted in the homes of a national sample of men and/or women who were 15-44 years of age in the civilian, non-institutionalized population of the United States. The main purpose of the 1973-1995 surveys was to provide reliable national data on marriage, divorce, contraception, infertility, and the health of women and infants in the United States. The 2002 and 2003 interviews included questions on schooling, work, marriage and divorce, having and raising children (including contraceptive use, infertility, and parenting), and related medical care.

National Vital Statistics System
The National Vital Statistics System is the oldest and most successful example of inter-governmental data sharing in Public Health, and the shared relationships, standards, and procedures form the mechanism by which NCHS collects and disseminates the Nation's official vital statistics. These data are provided through contracts between NCHS and vital registration systems operating in the various jurisdictions legally responsible for the registration of vital events - births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and fetal deaths.

NCHS: Healthy People 2010
Healthy People 2010 is a comprehensive, nationwide health promotion and disease prevention agenda. Healthy People 2010 contains objectives designed to serve as a road map for improving the health of all people in the United States during the first decade of the 21st century. NCHS is responsible for coordinating the effort to monitor the Nation's progress toward the objectives, using data from NCHS data systems as well as many other data sources. National data are gathered from many different data sources. Data are made available through DATA2010, an interactive database system accessible through the NCHS web site and the CDC WONDER system.

State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey
The State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey (SLAITS) collects important health care data at State and local levels. It supplements current national data collection strategies by providing in-depth State and local area data to meet various program and policy needs in an ever-changing health care system.

University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, Survey Research Center
The Survey Research Center is the largest of the four Centers of the Institute for Social Research (ISR). For more than 50 years, the Survey Research Center has been a national and international leader in interdisciplinary social science research involving the collection or analysis of data from scientific sample surveys.

University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, Survey Research Center: Panel Study for Income Dynamics
The Panel Study for Income Dynamics (PSID) is a nationally representative longitudinal study of nearly 8,000 U.S. families. Following the same families and individuals since 1968, the PSID collects data on economic, health, and social behavior.

Monitoring the Future
Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults. Each year, a total of some 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991.) In addition, annual follow-up questionnaires are mailed to a sample of each graduating class for a number of years after their initial participation.

U.S. Census Bureau
The U.S. Census Bureau provides an extensive selection of statistics for the United States, with selected data for regions, divisions, states, metropolitan areas, cities, and foreign countries from reports and records of government and private agencies. This Web site provides links to many other resources for secondary data.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The National Injury Information Clearinghouse disseminates statistics and information relating to the prevention of death and injury associated with consumer products.

World Health Organization
The World Health Organization's Web site contains information on recent research on disease and injury prevention and control. You will find links to communicable disease surveillance and response (CSR) and other related topics in epidemiology, such as disease outbreaks, a number of infectious diseases, and global health security. The WHO Statistical Information System (WHOSIS) is the guide to health and health-related epidemiological and statistical information available from the World Health Organization.

Data Entry, Management and Analysis Resources

With Epi Info™ and a personal computer, epidemiologists and other public health and medical professionals can rapidly develop a questionnaire or form, customize the data entry process, and enter and analyze data. Epidemiologic statistics, tables, graphs, and maps are produced with simple commands such as READ, FREQ, LIST, TABLES, GRAPH, and MAP. Epi Map displays geographic maps with data from Epi Info™.

Supported in part by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Emory University, OpenEpi is free software for epidemiologic statistics. OpenEpi provides statistics for counts and measurements in descriptive and analytic studies, stratified analysis with exact confidence limits, matched pair and person-time analysis, sample size and power calculations, random numbers, sensitivity, specificity, and other evaluation statistics.

EXCITE: Excellence in Curriculum Integration through Teaching Epidemiology
Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this Web site contains teaching materials that can be used to introduce students to public health and epidemiology. Students can learn about the scientific method of inquiry, basic biostatistics and outbreak investigation, and the Web site includes a resource library. Preparation materials for students who may wish to compete in the Disease Detectives event of the National Science Olympiad are also available on this site.

NCHS: Statistical Export and Tabulation System
The Statistical Export and Tabulation System (SETS) gives data users the tools to access and manipulate large data files on their personal computers.

Listed in the software section of, a public health and epidemiology consultant, the WINPEPI computer program is a free Windows-based epidemiologic calculator designed for use in practice and research in the health field and as learning or teaching aid. There are four WINPEPI programs:

  • DESCRIBE is designed for use in descriptive epidemiology. It can appraise rates or proportions and categorical or numerical data.
  • COMPARE2 is designed for use in comparisons of two independent groups or samples, and may be used to analyze cross-sectional, cohort and case-control studies, and trials. It can compare proportions or odds, risks, rates, and categorical and numerical data.
  • PAIRSect is designed for use in comparisons of paired and other matched observations, such as matched-control trials and cohort studies, matched case-control studies
  • WHATIS is designed as a utility program and includes a calculator that stores values and formulae enabling them to be recalled when needed. It also computes confidence intervals for a variety of statistics.

EpiCalc 2000
Also listed in the software section of, EpiCalc 2000 is a statistical calculator that works with pre-tabulated data. The functions are designed for use by persons working with data in a public health or epidemiological context.

R is a free computer program used for statistical computing and graphics and is funded by The R Foundation- a not for profit organization working in the public interest. R provides a wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear modeling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering) and graphical techniques.

Important General Resources

Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. The Department includes more than 300 programs, covering a wide spectrum of activities including health and social science research, immunizations, and Medicare and Medicaid services. In addition to providing information about their various programs, the HHS Web site also provides Reference Collections and Resource Locators.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) contains data on specific diseases as reported by state and territorial health departments and reports on infectious and chronic diseases, environmental hazards, natural or human-generated disasters, occupational diseases and injuries, and intentional and unintentional injuries. Also included are reports on topics of international interest and notices of events of interest to the public health community.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Web site provides a wealth of information about specific diseases, bioterrorism, clinical trials, research advances, and more. Founded in 1887, the National Institutes of Health is among the world's foremost medical research centers and one of eight health agencies that make up the Public Health Service. The goal of NIH research is to help detect, diagnose, and treat disease and disabilities and to uncover new knowledge that will lead to better health for everyone.

Supercourse: Epidemiology, the Internet and Global Health
This University of Pittsburgh-sponsored site includes a library of more than 600 higher education lectures developed by almost 5,000 educators in 118 countries. The site is intended to improve the teaching of public health and related research. Lectures are designed for use by teachers in the classroom and include the basic concepts and principles of epidemiology, basic methods used in epidemiology, environmental health, and other important topics.