About Health Snapshots Data

about health snapshots

Many data sources are used to create the Health Snapshot report. The Metadata tab in the Excel download provides information about how each indicator is calculated.

Information on this page:

What datasets are used in the Health Snapshots?

  • The datasets included in the health snapshots are: Birth Certificates, US Census, Death Certificates, State Health Registry (Cancer Registry), Air Quality, Water Quality, Statewide Outpatient Database and Statewide Inpatient Database.

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What are ‘5-year rolling averages’? What do they tell us?

  • To produce reliable rates and counts on the county-level despite small numbers, 5-year rolling averages are used to calculate both crude and age-adjusted rates (unless otherwise specified). The data shown in the report are based on the entire year range selected in the ‘Year Span’ filter.
  • Combining 5 years of data allows for more reliable rates and counts at the county level, particularly for smaller counties. However, they also obscure trends over time.

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What can these data not tell us?

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What time period of data is available?

  • Data are available in rolling 5-year ranges, starting at 2007-2011. The most recent data are 2012-2016.

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How can the Multi-County tab be used?

  • The Multi-County tab is intended to be used to compare geographic areas during a single timeframe. One to 99 counties can be selected. A value for each county, a combined value for all counties selected, and the state value is provided for each indicator. This allows local public health partners to compare their counties to others, and to understand data for multi-county service areas.

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How can the Single County tab be used?

  • The Single County tab is intended to be used to understand trends of a single county over time. A value for each year range selected is displayed for each county, and a state value for each year range is provided for comparison. This allows local public health partners to view trends over time occurring in their county.

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Where can I find more technical information about the data?

  • More technical information, including how each indicator is calculated can be found on the Metadata tab of the Excel file.

Contact Us to learn more about Health Snapshots data, or any of the measures displayed on the Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal.

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