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Health Statistics on the Web: Searching Databases

A selected list of health data tools and statistics

Searching the literature

Internet Searching Tips

  • Locate organizations on the Internet - many organizations and agencies collect statistics.
  • When looking for a known agency use quotes  e.g. "Center for Disease Control".
  • Try using synonyms for statistics and connecting them by an OR. Examples: statistics OR rate OR incidence OR data
  • Remember to use synonyms for conditions or diseases such as cardiovascular or heart or cardiac.
  • Looking for results that have .gov (government) or .org (organizations) or .edu (educational) in the web address.

Searching PubMed

PubMed comprises over 20 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.

When looking for health statistics within journal articles try using PubMed. On the opening PubMed page, go to the MESH (Medical Subject Headings). First type in the disease or condition that you are interested in, enter and then click on the term that best fits your need. A list of subheadings will appear of which "statistics and numerical data" or "epidemiology" are useful for retrieving statistics.

In addition to subheadings, it may also be helpful to use such terms as incidence or statistics combined with the disease or condition in the search box.

CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature)

Begin by typing your subject in the search box. After selecting the appropriate subject heading by checking the box to the left of the term, the list of subheadings will be listed. Choose the ones appropriate to statistics such as epidemiology or trends.

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