Frequently Asked Questions


What types of data are presented here?
Where did the data come from and how were they chosen?
How do I know if the data are accurate and trustworthy?
Why aren't data for other cancer sites or disease conditions available?
Why are there only African American, Caucasian, and All Races data available?
What if I cannot find data for my city, county, or state?
I selected the health topic "Heart disease", why do data about smoking, alcohol use, and obesity appear?
What does "All cancer sites" mean?
Can I download the data?
Why do some data presented here differ from other data sources on the web?
How do I cite the data I am using?
What are the copyright restrictions for the images?
How recent are the data? How often are the data updated?
I am working on a story and want to come back to it. Is there a way to save my notes and drafts online?
My computer does not seem to be compatible with the site. Is it time for an update?
I have more questions about the data. Who can I contact?
I have more general questions about Localhealthdata.org. Who can I contact?


What types of data are presented here?
Data representing population surveillance, health surveillance, behavioral risk factors, health policy, government health programs (e.g. enrollment, coverage, and spending), access to health services, and information on screening, risk factors, prevention and treatment are available in localhealthdata.org.

Where did the data come from and how were they chosen?
Data were aggregated from a variety of government and non-governmental sources (see the Source Index for a complete listing of all the sources) derived from administered surveys and published reports. All data reported on localhealthdata.org are available in the public domain. Data were chosen based on the source?s authority and expertise of the topics reported.

How do I know if the data are accurate and trustworthy?
Data in this site come directly from the source(s) listed. Please refer to the original source to determine the level of accuracy or trustworthiness. Analyses were conducted for select data sets to make it possible to report and include the data in this site. In those instances, notes were added to the data description above the display table to describe the analyses.

Why aren't data for other cancer sites or disease conditions available?
This is the first version of Localhealtdata.org. We are constantly updating the site and welcome suggestions for things you would like to see that are not included.

Why are there only African American, Caucasian, and All Races data available?
Data for additional race/ethnic groups are not always widely available, especially at more local levels. In the future we hope to report data for other racial populations such as Hispanic, Native American, and Asian-Pacific Islander.

What if I cannot find data for my city, county, or state?
Each source reports data for different levels of location. For instance, the CDC BRFSS survey data are widely available for many counties in the United States. On the other hand, the NCI HINTS survey data were collected at the national level. If data are not available for the location selected, a green message will appear above the data table that states "Data not available for [location selected], see Source Information." The "Source Information" will provide details on the survey used to collect data or the source of the data, along with a statement for which level of location (county, state, or national) data are reported.

I selected the health topic "Heart disease", why do data about smoking, alcohol use, and obesity appear?
Each health topic is linked to data that reflects associated risk factors. For instance, heart disease is linked to behaviors such as smoking and alcohol use, as well as data about obesity and exercise because these are all risk factors that influence heart disease.

What does "All cancer sites" mean?
The health topic "All cancer sites" refers to all invasive cancers combined. This includes each of the cancer sites listed in this site. Although data for in situ breast cancer is available in this site, in situ breast cancers are not included in the "All cancer sites" category.

Can I download the data?
At this time, the data on this site are not available for download. However, in some instances data are available for download from the original source.

Why do some data presented here differ from other data sources on the web?
A number of factors may influence why statistics from two or more sources may differ. For instance data methodology such as; the demographics of the sample, the sample size, data analysis and weighting methods used, how the question was worded in the initial survey, and response options offered could all be factors. When deciding which source to use, it is ideal to understand the data methodology of each source to help inform a decision. You may contact our data team at data@localhealthdata.org or (314) 935-3717 if you have questions.

How do I cite the data I am using?
Data should be cited using the original source as listed for each dataset. For an easy way to determine how to cite the source, add the data you wish to use to your notes section. This will generate a unique data sentence that includes the source information.

What are the copyright restrictions for the images?
All images in localhealthdata.org are available to the public. Copyright and source information are available for each image, please ensure images are cited properly.

How recent are the data? How often are the data updated?
Data are updated periodically throughout the year. If a more recent version of the data have been published, please contact our data team for more information on when that data will appear in localhealthdata.org.

I am working on a story and want to come back to it. Is there a way to save my notes and drafts online?
In the Drafts tab, move any data sentences from the notepad into the drafting area using the green arrows or copy and paste the sentences. Click Save a Copy or Create a Link to email a unique address to your document for yourself or colleagues. Note: Links expire after 30 days.

My computer does not seem to be compatible with the site. Is it time for an update?
Localhealthdata.org runs on Windows XP and later versions as well as Mac OSX 10.4 and later. The site is optimized for Firefox 3.6 and up, Safari 5.0.4, Chrome 11 and later.

I have more questions about the data. Who can I contact?
All data-related questions should be directed to data@localhealthdata.org or (314) 935-3717.

I have more general questions about Localhealthdata.org. Who can I contact?
All general inquiries should be directed to info@localhealthdata.org or (314) 935-3781.