Federal Databases | VA Outcomes

Federal Databases


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info  for selected variables and links to published articles using the database.

DATABASE PURPOSE UNIT OF OBSERVATION AGE METHOD TIMEFRAME SAMPLE SIZE
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)


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To monitor state-level prevalence of the major behavioral risk factors for premature morbidity and mortality. Person 18 and above Telephone survey 1984 – current, monthly Over 200,000
per year
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)


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To provide national estimates of health and nutritional status and the prevalence of detected and undetected disease. Person All ages Home interview and examination 4 Cycles:
1999-current;
III 88-94; II 76-80;
I before 60-70
About 6,000 individuals
each year
National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)


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To determine the amount and effects of illness/disability and associated health care utilization. Person All ages Home interview Conducted since 1960, updated about every 10-15 years; Year 2002:
36,161 households (93,386 persons, 36,831 families) sampled
Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)


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To provide estimates of individuals’ health care use, expenditures, sources of payments, and insurance coverage. Person All ages In-person and telephone interview Annually since 1996 A sub-sample of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)
National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS)


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To describe the characteristics of patients’ visits office-based physicians who are primarily engaged in direct patient care. Office Visits All ages Abstracted, using survey encounter form Annually from 1973, except 1982-1988 Each year 3,000 physicians provide data on about 30 visits
National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS)


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To provide nationwide information on hospital discharges using a sample of discharges from 500 hospitals in 50 states. (Note: NIS is generally the more comprehensive database. The only advantages of NHDS are data involving years prior to 1988 and data on 17 states not in NIS) Hospital discharges All ages Abstracted Annually since 1965 270,000 inpatient records yearly
Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS)


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To provide nationwide information on hospital discharges using all discharges from 900 hospitals in 33 states (approximately 20% of all US discharges. Hospital Discharges All ages Abstracted Annually since 1988 7 million hospital stays yearly
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)


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To provide data on cancer incidence, initial therapy and survival. Incident cancer cases All ages Cancer registry Annually since 1973 170,000 new cases each year