Health Statistics

Health Statistics provide defensible, credible information, assessments and interpretations designed to identify and characterize human health problems, and to guide actions and policies to improve human health.
 

Statistics is a sub-discipline of applied mathematics that focuses on collection and interpretation of quantitative data. It uses probability theory to estimate an ever-increasing number of such population parameters as incidences of disease, or the success of interventions. Significantly, health statistics is not only a resource for defensible health information, it is a central basis for public health and health policy (for such stakeholders as individuals as well as governmental and private sector organizations).
 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, health statistics allows:
 

  • documenting the health status of populations and of important subgroups;
  • identifying disparities in health status and use of health care by race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, region, and other population-based characteristics;
  • describing experiences with health care systems;
  • monitoring trends in health status and health care delivery;
  • identifying health problems;
  • supporting biomedical and health services research;
  • providing information for making changes in public policies and programs; and
  • evaluating the impacts of health policies and programs.

Image: CDC

  • Freeway proximity and autism? Featured Article Freeway proximity and autism? Freeway proximity and autism?

    This study examined the association between autism and proximity of residence to freeways and major roadways during pregnancy and near the time of delivery, as a surrogate for air... More »

  • Estimation of adult human biomass Featured Article Estimation of adult human biomass Estimation of adult human biomass

    The energy requirement of species at each trophic level is a function of the number of organisms and their average mass. The study estimates global human biomass, its... More »

  • Climate Change and Public Health Featured Article Climate Change and Public Health Climate Change and Public Health

    Main Image: Water sprays from an open fire hydrant in Brooklyn, New York, in the midst of a July 2010 heat wave that affected much of the eastern United States. In 2007 the New... More »

  • Wild Birds and Bird Influenza Featured News Article Wild Birds and Bird Influenza Wild Birds and Bird Influenza

    Research Suggests Wild Birds May Play a Role in the Spread of Bird Flu Wild migratory birds may indeed play a role in the spread of bird flu [influenza], also known as highly... More »

  • Tickborne Diseases of the U.S. Featured Article Tickborne Diseases of the U.S. Tickborne Diseases of the U.S.

    Tickborne Diseases of the U.S. In the United States, some ticks carry pathogens (an agent especially a virus or bacterium or other microorganism) that can cause human... More »

  • Living in a contaminated world Featured Article Living in a contaminated world Living in a contaminated world

    Humankind is now in its third generation since the chemical revolution—circa 1940. The myriad dimensions and implications of this worldwide phenomenon and its actual and... More »

  • National Children's Study Featured Article National Children's Study National Children's Study

    The Division of Laboratory Sciences (DLS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s National Center for Environmental Health is collaborating with the... More »

  • Healthy Community Design Featured Article Healthy Community Design Healthy Community Design

    The way we design and build our communities can affect our physical and mental health. Healthy community design integrates evidence-based health strategies into community... More »

Recently Updated
Healthy Community Design Last Updated on 2014-06-29 19:10:40 The way we design and build our communities can affect our physical and mental health. Healthy community design integrates evidence-based health strategies into community planning, transportation, and land-use decisions. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that healthy community design can improve people’s health by: Increasing physical activity; Reducing injury; Increasing access to healthy food; Improving air and water quality; Minimizing the effects of climate change; Decreasing mental health stresses; Strengthening the social fabric of a community; and Providing fair access to livelihood, education, and resources. According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of infirmity. A healthy community as described by the U.S. Department of Health and... More »
Evaluating low-dose effects of environmental chemicals Last Updated on 2013-09-14 23:41:18 This Editorial, written by Linda S. Birnbaum*, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the Encyclopedia of Earth. Environmental Chemicals: Evaluating Low-Dose Effects Around the world, large-scale biomonitoring programs have provided extensive information about human exposure to a large number of environmental chemicals (Barr et al. 2010; Bilau et al. 2008; Churchill et al. 2001; Woodruff et al. 2011). As these programs extend to look at vulnerable populations, including pregnant women, fetuses, and the elderly, our knowledge of the widespread distribution of... More »
Freeway proximity and autism? Last Updated on 2013-09-14 23:34:22 This study examined the association between autism and proximity of residence to freeways and major roadways during pregnancy and near the time of delivery, as a surrogate for air pollution exposure. This research article, written by Heather E. Volk, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Lora Delwiche, Fred Lurmann, and Rob McConnell* appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the Encyclopedia of Earth. Residential Proximity to Freeways and Autism in the CHARGE Study Background: Little is known about environmental causes and contributing factors for autism. Basic science and... More »
Research Strategy: Environmental Causes of Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Last Updated on 2013-09-13 23:17:30 Autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mental retardation, dyslexia, and other biologically based disorders of brain development affect between 400,000 and 600,000 of the 4 million children born in the United States each year. Exploration of the environmental causes of autism and other NDDs has been catalyzed by growing recognition of the exquisite sensitivity of the developing human brain to toxic chemicals. This Editorial, written by Philip J. Landrigan, Luca Lambertini, and Linda S. Birnbaum* appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the... More »
West Nile Virus Last Updated on 2012-08-23 00:00:00 Since 1999, more than 30,000 people in the United States have been reported as getting sick with West Nile virus. Infected mosquitoes spread West Nile virus (WNV) that can cause serious, life altering disease. West Nile Virus: What You Need To Know CDC Fact Sheet Download PDF version formatted for print [PDF - 2 pages]   What Is West Nile Virus?   West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness. Experts believe WNV is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall. This fact sheet contains important information that can help you recognize and prevent West Nile virus.   What Can I Do to Prevent WNV?   New! Prevention measures consist of community-based mosquito control programs that are able to reduce vector populations, personal protection measures to... More »