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Locating Health Statistics

This guide includes health statistic guides, tools, and resources as well as related general statistics resources

A strategy for finding statistical information



Please do not hesitate to contact a Mulford or Carlson Reference Librarian with any challenging research question (whether or not they are statistic related).

Here is a strategy that may be useful, including those times when a librarian is temporarily unavailable (as nights/weekends).

  • Think about what kind of statistics are needed. For example, is it about disease occurrence or epidemiology? vital statistics? demographics?
  • Name the variables being addressed, as a population group, time period, or geographic location.
  • Consider resources (print or on-line) that may contain the needed information.
    • Think about which government or private organization might collect the statistic needed and search their Web sites as well as the library catalog (author search by agency/organization).
    • Also consider secondary sources as journal literature (as Pubmed or CINAHL) and agency reports.
      Many agencies publish statistics in articles (A list of UT journals and research databases may be found here)

      If a related statistic is found, locate the Web site of the agency or organization.
      Search the found agency/organization Web site for needed informatio

      Search any bibliographies at the agency's Web site for articles or reports that may contain the needed information.


Introduction to Reference Sources in the Health Sciences, 5th ed. Compiled and edited by Jeffrey T. Huber, Jo Anne Boorkman, and Jean Blackwell. Neal-Schuman: New York. 2008.

Finding and Using Health Statistics, US National Library of Medicine,
(Accessed 1 December 2009)

General Guide to Finding Health Statistics (Challenges to Finding Data section)  University of Chicago,
(Accessed 20 August 2014)

PubMed (biomedical literature)

Consider using  Medical subject headings (Mesh), the subject headings used in PubMed**.  

Terms/words to consider when searching for statistics with Pubmed

  • MeSH subheading statistics and numberical data, which can be searched separately as "statistics and numberical data"[subheading]
  • MeSH subheading epidemiology
  • MeSH heading incidence
  • The following as keywords: statistics,data, epidemiology, incidence, surveillance, prevalence

For example, to find statistics on stents and carotid stenosis:

  • Go to the PubMed@UT link at the Mulford Library home page.
  • Select MesH Database
  • Search for Stents, select Stents and check the subheading statistics and numerical data
    Check the option Restrict Search to Major Topic headings only
  • Separately search for Carotid Stenosis (do not select any subheadings)
    Consider narrowing the search with the option Restrict Search to Major Topic headings only
  • Select Advanced Search (top of page) and combine the two searches in the search box (For example..#1 AND #2)
  • A link to the completed search is here.
  • Use the Advanced Search to limit results, as English, Human, and date (as 2000-2010)
    A link to this search is here

Additional Pubmed search examples

**For more information on MeSH go here, for more information on Pubmed searching, go here

CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health)

First search for articles on the topic

  • Go to the CINAHL link at the Mulford Library home page.
  • Select the Suggest Subject Terms option above the search boxes.
  • Enter a word or short phrase (as h1n1 OR myocardial infarction.
  • Place checkmark in the box furthest to the left of the desired subject heading.
  • Select any subheadings that seem applicable (this is not necessary).
  • In right column locate Search Database.
    •   Select Explode  if you would like to include any narrower topics (under the term in the left column.
    •   Select Major Concept to search for articles where the subject is a main poing of the articles.
    •   Click on Search Database.

Then narrow the search to statistics on the topic

  • Do a second search (with the Suggest Subject Terms option) with one of more of these CINAHL subject headings:  DataIncidence.Surveillance, Statistics, etc.


    Do a second search (without the Suggest Subject Terms option) using one or more of these keywords : DataIncidence.Surveillance, Statistics

Combine the results of the two searches

For more information on searching CINAHL searching, go here