VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Public Health

VCU Resources

Sources for Data

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
    • CDC's State-based system of health surveys that collects information on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and health care access primarily related to chronic disease and injury.
  • CDC Wonder
    • From the Centers for Disease Control, CDC WONDER is "a general-purpose public health information and communications system. CDC WONDER provides query access to about 40 text-based and numeric databases. Numeric databases can provide, for example, the numbers and rates of sexually transmitted diseases, cancer cases, or deaths in the United States. Users can request data for any disease and demographic group, by submitting ad hoc queries against available datasets."
  • Epi Info
    • Epi Info, produced by CDC and the World Health Organization provides public-domain software for database and statistics work in public health. Epi Info is a complete system for word processing, data entry, database management, and public health statistics.
    • Portal linking to data from Department of Health and Human Services agencies (CMS, CDC, FDA, NIH, etc.).
  • National Center for Health Statistics
    • The NCHS is the principal health statistics agency in the U.S. and has many files and publications available electronically. This site is only one example of the statistical information available from the federal government - be sure to check out the FedStats site listed above for numerous other sources.
  • Comprehensive Epidemiologic Data Resource (CEDR)
    • CEDR is a project of the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory to maintain data on possible exposures and health effects among individual DOE workers.
  • Integrated Public Use Microdata Series
    • The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) is part of the Minnesota Historical Census Projects and is "the largest publicly accessible computerized database on a human population. The IPUMS includes 23 high-precision individual-level samples of the United States population censuses from 1850 to 1990."
  • WHOSIS: World Health Organization Statistical Information System
    • The purpose of the WHOSIS website is to "describe - and to the extent possible provide access to - statistical and epidemiological data and information presently available from the World Health Organization." A keyword search feature allows for searching through the entire WHO website.
  • ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research) 
    • Even though the name suggests political science, ICPSR includes datasets from many different types of surveys, some of which address health. Use ICPSR to locate surveys with health-related questions and to download data. 
  • WHO: Global Health Observatory 
    Centralized gateway to World Health Organization health-related statistics.