TITLE: National Center for Health Statistics

ACCESS: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), a component of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), functions as the federal agency responsible for the collection and dissemination of America's vital and health statistics. This site supports the NCHS's mission to "provide statistical information that will guide actions and policies to improve the health of the American people."

Users can browse publications and statistical tables, download files, access survey data collection systems, conduct searches in NCHS Web Search, track NCHS initiatives and sign up for NCHS listservs. "What's New" and "Top 10 Links" are areas on the site that list new releases of data and the most popular pages. "Information Showcase" highlights the agency's major activities and findings. "Micro-data Access" provides links to various databases and statistical systems such as Statistical Export and Tabulation System (SETS). The SETS link is useful for public health researchers because large data files can be downloaded on personal computers. Another useful link in this section is the "CDC Wonder." By using the database, a wide variety of CDC reports, guidelines and numeric public health data can be accessed. The "Tabulated State Data" section provides pretabulated tables on each state's birth and death statistics. In this section, users can download software that will allow tables to be customized or manipulated for use in other databases or spreadsheet packages.

A column down the left-hand side of the site offers links to different sections as well. The "About NCHS" gives an overview of the National Center for Health Statistics and information about the Web site. For quick statistics on a variety of common health topics users can click on "FASTSTATS A to Z." A topical listing of information that can be accessed on the Web site is included in the "Site Index." There are links to all NCHS surveys and data collections systems in the "Surveys and Data Collections Systems." Information on special programs that NCHS is involved with such as Aging, Disease Classification, Healthy People and SETS can be accessed from "Initiatives." Also, on the column are links to NCHS's research and development, news releases, fact sheets, publications and listservs.

The site is a reliable and timely resource for public health researchers, faculty and students. The general public will find useful information here as well.

Nancy M. Allen
University of South Florida at Sarasota-Manatee/New College of Florida

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