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International Health


Research Guide to International
Health Statistics

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Sources of Information
2.1. Books
2.2. Journals
2.3. Internet
2.4 Other data sources

1. Introduction

The purpose of this guide is to assist faculty, students, and staff of the University of Chicago find international health statistics. This guide is not meant to be exhaustive but to highlight key resources for locating information on this topic.

2. Sources of Information

2.1 Book Resources

For electronic access to books, try searching the MD Consult database. You can search within an individual textbook, or run a search across >35 textbooks simultaneously for your topic.

Use the Library catalog to locate relevant print and electronic books in the University Library.

Try to identify general texts on your topic and you should be able to find the data you need. Excellent data is buried within textbooks; just because a textbook has not been labeled in the catalog as a statistical resource does not mean that important numerical data is not included within the work. You will need to browse textbook and textbook chapters for tables and graphs on your topic in order to retrieve desired information.

Subject headings in the catalog often do not include terms like statistics unless the book only reports summary data, like in a survey. Instead, browse or search the catalog using broad and narrow subject terms related to diabetes. Catalog tip: use the "*" wildcard to search for variations of your root term. For example child* to search for child or children or children's. You can then combine these subject terms with the type of data you are interested in. For example cancer* and Africa*.

When searching for statistics from a specific region or people group, use broad and narrow geographic variables. For example, Delhi, India, South East Asia. Also search for variations of the people group you are interested in. Such as Zulu, South African, African.

Also, search using the keywords world, global, or international to retrieve materials in the catalog on this concept, For many of the example terms listed below, you can follow each with the country you are interested in, i.e. Africa, Brazil, etc.

Finally, search using terms related to the type of statistical data you need - mortality, morbidity, population, natality etc.

Medical climatology
Medical geography
Medical policy
Medicine -- Africa.
Public health
Social Medicine
World health

Author Date Collection Call#
Critical issues in global health C. Everett Koop, Clarence E. Pearson, M. Roy Schwarz 2001 Crerar Library Bookstacks RA441 .C75 2001
World population monitoring, 1998 : health and mortality : selected aspects United Nations 2000 Regenstein Library Bookstacks HB881.A1U55 no.174
Textbook of international health Paul F. Basch. 1999 Crerar Library Bookstacks RA441 .B38 1999
International health data reference guide, 1999 National Center for Health Statistics (U.S.) 1999 Online PDF
International health data reference guide, 1997. National Center for Health Statistics (U.S.) 1998 Crerar Library Reference, floor 1

fRA407.I61 1998

Health dimensions of sex and reproduction : the global burden of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, maternal conditions, perinatal disorders, and congenital anomalies / Murray, Christopher J. L. 1998 Crerar Library Reference, floor 1 RG106.3.H4 1998
Global health statistics : a compendium of incidence, prevalence, and mortality estimates for over 200 conditions / Murray, Christopher J. L. 1996 Crerar Library Reference, floor 1 RA407.M870 1996
The global burden of disease : a comprehensive assessment of mortality and disability from diseases, injuries, and risk factors in 1990 and projected to 2020 Murray, Christopher J. L. 1996 Crerar Library Reference, floor 1 RA441.G560 1996
International health systems : a chartbook perspective. American Medical Association 1995 Crerar Library Reference, floor 1 RA395.A3I5650 1995
International mortality chartbook : levels and trends, 1955-91 / Zarate, Alvan O. 1994 Crerar Library Reference, floor 1 f HB1321.I550 1994
International health statistics : what the numbers mean for the United States. Office of Technology Assessment 1993 Crerar Library Bookstacks RA407.I590 1993
A Mortality study of 1.3 million persons by demographic, social and economic factors: 1979-1985 follow-up : U.S. National Longitudinal Mortality Study Eugene Rogot 1992 Crerar Lib, Reference, floor 1 HB1335.M67 1992
Global estimates and projections of mortality by cause, 1970-2015; Policy research working papers WPS 1007 Rodolfo A. Bulatao and Patience W. Stephens. 1992 Regenstein Stacks HG3879.P6 no.1007
World health statistics annual. Annuaire de statistiques sanitaires mondiales. World Health Organization  1939- Crerar Library Reference, floor 1 RA651.A1W87
International health statistics : what the numbers mean for the United States. Office of Technology Assessment 1993 Crerar Lib Stacks RA407.I590 1993
Statistical yearbook / United Nations 1993- Crerar Library Reference, floor 1 HA1.U596


2.2 Journals

There are two versions of the the Medline database available.
Medline on OVID
and PubMed.

MEDLINE is the National Library of Medicine's premier database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. MEDLINE contains bibliographic citations and abstracts from more than 4,000 biomedical journals. The file contains over 11 million citations dating back to 1966.

The Print version of this database is known as Index Medicus. Print volumes from 1879-present are available in the Crerar Library Reference Collection at Z6660.I4.


2.3 Internet Resources

Sites were selected based upon the authority and/or reputation of the issuing body in addition to the quality and organization of the website. Federal organizations, medical associations, and private organizations are included.

Agency/Organization Statistics available
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australia's official statistical organisation. We assist and encourage informed decision-making, research and discussion within governments and the community, by providing a high quality, objective and responsive national statistical service.
Canadian Institute for Health Information
CIHI is an independent, not-for-profit organization that plays a central role in the development of Canada?s health information system.
Center for International Health Information
CIHI is a USAID information management activity operated by Information Management Consultants, Inc. in conjunction with The Futures Group (TFG) and the International Science and Technology Institute (ISTI)
The Commonwealth Fund
Private foundation that supports independent research on health and social issues and makes grants to improve health care practice and policy. The Fund is dedicated to helping people become more informed about their health care, and improving care for vulnerable populations such as children, elderly people, low-income families, minority Americans, and the uninsured. In connection with its grantmaking, the Fund issues more than 50 reports each year on the topics listed in the left-hand navigation bar of the page.
Eurostat, Statistical Office of the European Communities
Eurostat is the Statistical Office of the European Communities situated in Luxembourg. Its task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions.
  • The latest, detailed and comparable statistical data on the European Union.
International Programs Center (IPC)
Part of the Population Division of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, conducts demographic and socioeconomic studies and strengthens statistical development around the world through technical assistance, training, and software products.
  • International Data Base (IDB)
    • Databank containing statistical tables of demographic, and socio-economic data for 227 countries and areas of the world. Data includes: population by age and sex, vital rates, infant mortality and life tables, fertility and child survivorship, migration, marital status, family planning, ethnicity, religion, language, literacy, labor force, employment, and income.

Library of Congress
The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations.

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
NCHS, the U.S. Federal Government's principal vital and health statistics agency, is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Pan American Health Organization - Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization.
PAHO is an international public health agency working to improve health and living standards of the countries of the Americas. It serves as the specialized organization for health of the Inter-American System. It also enjoys international recognition as part of the United Nations system.
Population Reference Bureau
PRB is a nonprofit, nonadvocacy, educational organization which works to increase the amount, accuracy and usefulness of information concerning changes in population and the impact those changes may have.

Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada is the country's national statistical agency, with programs organized into three broad subject matter areas: demographic and social, socioeconomic and economic.

  • Population traits and trends, plus education, culture and health.
Created by the United Nations General Assembly in 1946 to help children after World War II in Europe, UNICEF was first known as the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system, its task being to help children living in poverty in developing countries. Its name was shortened to the United Nations Children's Fund, but it retained the acronym "UNICEF," by which it is known to this day.

United Nations
The purposes of the United Nations, as set forth in the Charter, are to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these ends.

U.S. Census Bureau
The preeminent collector and provider of timely, relevant, and quality data about the people and economy of the United States.
The World Bank Group
The World Bank's goal is to reduce poverty and improve living standards by promoting sustainable growth and investment in people.
    HDDFLASH is an bimonthly electronic mailing list, sent on the first and fifteenth of each month, on recent trends and developments in the fields of education, health, nutrition, population, and reproductive health.
  • Health, Nutrition, & Population This paper presents the World Bank's strategy in the health, nutrition, and population (HNP) area.
World Health Organization
The purpose of WHOSIS is to provide access to statistical and epidemiological data and information presently available from the WHO and elsewhere in electronic or other forms
  • WHOSIS - Statistical Information Systems. Gateway to international statistics on health

2.4 Other data sources

A key set of political, economic, and business information, daily news and data. Components of this database are Country ReviewsTM, the Country WireTM, CountryWatch Data and CountryWatch Business Services.

Go directly to specific world regions:

Gateway Measure (Monitoring and Evaluation to Assess Use results) Gateway of five seperate project which complement one another.

  • MEASURE DHS+ assists institutions in developing countries in obtaining and analyzing data needed to plan, monitor, and evaluate population, health, and nutrition programs; and in improving ongoing data collection efforts in a cost-effective manner. The project is implemented by Macro International, in partnership with the Population Council and the East West Center.
    • Use the STATcompiler to select numerous countries and hundreds of indicators to create customized tables that serve their specific data needs.
    • To download entire surveys, Researchers must Apply for a Download Account first. Applications for a download account will be reviewed and researchers will be notified within 24 hours once the registration has been accepted.

  • MEASURE Evaluation MEASURE Evaluation is committed to coordinated, cost-effective and efficient approaches in data collection, monitoring and evaluation of population, health and nutrition services worldwide. It is one of five separate projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to examine the impact of a wide range of activities to improve human health and well-being, with a focus on family planning, maternal and child health and nutrition, and the prevention of HIV/STDs. Working with the Carolina Population Center on MEASURE Evaluation are Tulane University School of Public Health, Macro International, Inc., and John Snow Research and Training Institute.

  • MEASURE Communication The MEASURE Communication project fosters better dissemination and use of data and information to support improved population, health, and nutrition policies in developing countries. It is implemented by the Population Reference Bureau, in collaboration with the Academy for Educational Development, through a cooperative agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

  • BUCEN-SCILS (The U.S. Bureau of the Census?Survey and Census Information, Leadership, and Self-Sufficiency) provides support for developing countries in implementing censuses and add-ons to sample surveys to produce population, health, and nutrition information. Country-specific assistance includes training and technical assistance in design, implementation, sampling, data processing, analysis, and dissemination of censuses and surveys.

  • CDC-DRH (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?Division of Reproductive Health) provides technical assistance for: population-based surveys, contraceptive logistics, training and research in reproductive health epidemiology, and reproductive health for refugees

Statistical Universe

Major tool for statistical research. Covers data from U.S. federal and state governments; university research centers, private associations and organizations, and independent research groups; and international and intergovernmental organizations. Records include abstracts, with full text of selected U.S. federal and state publications available from as early as 1995.

Statistical Universe is the online equivalent of the following resources available in print. You will need to consult the print version in order to conduct historical research.

American statistics index (ASI)
Reading Rm, floor 1 Regenstein Z1223.Z7A51 (1973-)

Index to international statistics (IIS)
Reading Rm, floor 1 Regenstein (1983-)

Statistical Abstract of the United States
At multiple locations. Please check holdings. HA202.A2 (1878-)

Statistical reference index (SRI)
Reading Rm, floor 1 Regenstein Z7554.U5S71(1980-)

TOXNET? (Toxicology Data Network)
A cluster of databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, and related areas. It is managed by the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) of its Specialized Information Services Division. TOXNET's Web Interface was designed to provide an easy-to-use approach to searching files of varying formats and contents. Users can readily extract toxicology data and literature references, as well as toxic release information, on particular chemicals. Alternately, one can perform a search with subject terms to identify chemicals that cause certain effects.