Secondary data play an increasingly important role in epidemiology and public health research and practice; examples of secondary data sources include national surveys such as the BRFSS and NHIS, claims data for the Medicare and Medicaid systems, and public vital statistics records. Although a wealth of secondary data is available, it is not always easy to locate and access appropriate data to address a research or policy question. This practical guide circumvents these difficulties by providing an introduction to secondary data and issues specific to its management and analysis, followed by an enumeration of major sources of secondary data in the United States. Entries for each data source include the principal focus of the data, years for which it is available, history and methodology of the data collection process, and information about how to access the data and supporting materials, including relevant details about file structure and format.
1. An introduction to secondary data analysis; 2. Health service utilization data; 3. Health behaviors and risk factors data; 4. Data on multiple health topics; 5. Fertility and mortality data; 6. Medicare and Medicaid data; 7. Other sources of data.