Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Undergraduate Nursing Resources

Finding Health Statistics

Finding and interpreting health data can be very challenging.  There are many factors that go into gathering, analyzing, and reporting data.  Some things to think about as you look for data:  

  • Who might gather this data? Does it need to be reported?  Might a government agency, non-profit organization gather.  Of the data doesn't have to be reported, what else could I look at?  For example, primary care office - the location most likely to know hypertension rates, is not required to report that information, so instead the government asks people if they have ever been told they have high blood pressure.  This isn't an incidence or prevalence per see, but it she closest we can get to this information for the US as a whole.
  • It takes time and resources to gather and analyze health data - there can be a lag time between collection and availability.  Try to find the most up to date information you can, but do not be surprised if that data is up 5-10 years old. - if you are not sure you were successful in finding the most up to date data, check in a librarian.
  • Be sure you understand the numbers you are given - are you being shown a raw number, a rate (a measure or frequency measured against another - e.g. a ratio or percentage), an average, a median - while you cannot compare numbers measured differently directly to each other, you can still compare them if you express the differences clearly.

Some basic starting points:

Additionally, you can search Goggle for additional information e.g. "myocardial infarction" prevalence

Then when looking through the results, think about the credibility and possible biases of the sources and trade up to better sources where you can. For example, look at the hosting websites. In the above search, as I look through the results, I see one comes from Medscape, a source I recommend using for the Microbiology Poster Projects, the NIH website, the CDC, and the National Heart Association - all likely accurate primary sources (the groups that actually gather the data) of heart related health data.  If you find health data in other sources, you can look at the references to see if you can get back to the primary source of the data.

NUR 3132: Professional Nursing 3 (Health Promotion)