(Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System,
pronounced "whiskers") Fatal is an interactive
database system that provides injury-related mortality data
useful for research and for making informed public health
decisions. WISQARS offers three types of
reports: mortality reports, leading causes
of death reports, and years of potential life lost
reports (YPPL). Injury mortality reports provide number
of injury deaths and death rates for specific external
causes of injuries. Leading causes of death reports
provide the number of injury-related deaths relative to the
number of other leading causes of death in the United States
or in individual states. Years of potential life lost
(YPLL) reports compare premature mortality (early death)
between different causes of death.
is the suggested citation for WISQARS Fatal?
can I get from WISQARS Fatal?
What can't I get from WISQARS Fatal?
does WISQARS Fatal get
can't I combine 1999 data with earlier years of data?
will new data be available for WISQARS Fatal?
can I get from WONDER?
can't I get data prior to 1981?
about county-level data?
me about crude and age-adjusted rates in injury mortality
can I get reports sorted by Hispanic origin, or intent?
can I request a chart of leading causes of injury-related
about ICD codes not covered by WISQARS Fatal?
I get information on total deaths and not just injury
How can I download the information to my PC?
is the suggested citation for WISQARS Fatal?
for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for
Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury
Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online].
(2005) [cited Year Month (abbreviated) Day]. Available
What can I get from
WISQARs Fatal presents mortality data in
three report formats: injury mortality reports, leading
causes of death reports, and years of potential life lost (YPLL)
reports. You can request statistics for a specific
population based on census region / state of residence,
race, sex, and Hispanic origin (e.g. Black Females in
Michigan). Race categories are white, black, American
Indian / Alaskan Native, Asian and Pacific Islander, and
other (which is all non-white and non-black and may include
other races not listed here).
In addition, for mortality reports
and leading causes of death reports, you can request
particular age ranges: five- and ten-year age groups or
specific age ranges (such as 13-19). Injury mortality
reports also can present the statistics ordered by these
specific definitions as well as other parameters. For
example, you can request a report for a mechanism/cause and
manner/intent in a specific state by sex and race.
You can request YPLL reports
that use ages 65 to 85 (in five year increments) as the
What can't I get
from WISQARS Fatal?
Fatal does provide a wide variety of information, it has
limitations. The following are some of the items not
available in WISQARS Fatal:
- Reports for data prior to
- Hispanic origin data prior
- User-defined age groups
prior to 1990
- Reports using causes of
death codes not already defined (see What
can I get from WONDER?)
- Non-injury data, except
what is available on leading causes of death reports
- County-level data
get its data?
Death data come from a
national mortality database compiled by CDC's National
Center for Health Statistics. This database contains
information from death certificates filed in state
vital-statistics offices and includes causes of death
reported by attending physicians, medical examiners, and
coroners. It also includes demographic information about decedents
reported by funeral directors, who obtain that information
from family members and other informants. Population data
come from the Bureau of the Census. These data are based on
information gathered in censuses and on estimation
procedures conducted in non-census years. More
Why can't I combine 1999 data with
earlier years of data?
injury mortality data for 1999 and later is coded based on the ICD-10
classification system. This system is notably different from
the coding used for 1998 and earlier data, the ICD-9
classification system. Because of the different coding
systems, you may not be able to compare numbers
of deaths and deaths rates computed for some external causes
of injury based on 1999 and later data to those based on data from 1998
and earlier. Consequently, you must use caution when doing trend
analysis of numbers of deaths and death rates across these
years. To help remind you of the difference between 1999
and later data and 1998 and earlier years of data, WISQARS offers the data
A comparability study to assess the effects of the
change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is underway by National Center of
Health Statistics. Some
preliminary comparability ratios are available from two
DL, Arias E, Smith B, Murphy SL, Kochanek KD. Deaths: Final
Data for 1999. National vital statistics reports; 49(8).
Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health
Statistic;. 2001. Available from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr49/nvsr49_08.pdf
Minino AM, Hoyert DL, Rosenberg HM. Comparability of cause
of death between ICD-9 and ICD-10: Preliminary estimates.
National vital statistics reports; 49(2). Hyattsville,
Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics; 2001.
Available from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr49/nvsr49_02.pdf
When will new
data be available for WISQARS?
The mortality data reported on
NCIPC web pages come from death-certificate data reported to
the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). NCHS takes
about 18 months to compile, verify, and prepare these data
for release to the public. After NCHS releases the data,
NCIPC updates the WISQARS web pages, a process that takes a
few weeks. For example, 2004 data should be available in
the late summer or early fall of 2006.
What can I get from WONDER?
CDC's WONDER (Wide-ranging Online
Data for Epidemiological Research) system at http://wonder.cdc.gov/
is similar to WISQARS Fatal's injury mortality reports but
has different characteristics. WONDER uses a variety
of data sources, while WISQARS Fatal does not. In
addition, WONDER's mortality data reports differs from
WISQARS Fatal's in the following ways:
|Age group specified by
American Indian / Alaskan Native and
Asian / Pacific Islander race data
Data prior to 1981
Hispanic origin data
Leading causes of death report
Specification of user-defined causes
of death codes
Why can't I get data prior to 1981?
Suitable population data does
not exist for the years prior to 1981. For requests
for data prior to 1981, WONDER
may provide the necessary information.
What about county-level
County-level data are not available in
are available in WONDER.
Tell me about crude and
age-adjusted rates in injury mortality reports.
WISQARS Fatal figures the crude rate per 100,000 by
dividing the number of deaths in a particular population by
the total number of people in that population, then
multiplying that ratio by 100,000. Here’s an example:
In 1997, there were 103,010 deaths among U.S. males
from all causes of injury. The U.S. male population that
year was 131,017,669. To get the crude rate per 100,000,
divide 103,010 by 131,017,669—you get 0.0007862. Now
multiply by 100,000—you get 78.62. So, in 1997, for
every 100,000 males in the U.S., 78.62 died from injuries.
Some injuries are more prevalent among certain age groups
than among others. For example, deaths from falls occur more
often among older Americans than among any other age group.
Age adjustment allows us to compare injury rates without
concern that differences in those rates are caused by
variations in the age distributions between populations or
among the same population over time. In other words, it
allows us to compare apples to apples, rather than apples to
When reports are requested for all ages in a particular
population, WISQARS Fatal automatically calculates
age-adjusted rates, unless you choose otherwise. However,
for reports requested by standard age groups and
custom age ranges, only crude rates per 100,000 are
available. The method used to calculate age adjustment does
not allow WISQARS Fatal to compute age-adjusted rates
by age groups.
How can I get reports sorted by
Hispanic origin, or intent?
Some people would like one
report to produce the number of deaths and death rates with
output ordered by one of the following:
Firearm, Firearm Suicides, and Firearm
Currently, WISQARS does not
offer this feature. To obtain this information, you will
need to run multiple reports. For example, you can run a
report for all Hispanics and another report for all
Unavailable until the
addition of the 1999 mortality data, requesting a chart of
leading causes of injury-related deaths is a new
How can I
request a chart of leading causes of
- From the WISQARS home
page, select "Leading Causes of Death
The appropriate report options page will appear.
- Under "Advanced
Options," go to the pull-down menu titled
"Categories of Causes" and select
For more information, see the WISQARS Fatal tutorial.
Also part of this feature are
the options to request leading causes of all unintentional
injury deaths and leading all violence-related injury
International Classification of Disease Tenth Revision
(ICD-10) codes are used to identify the underlying cause of
death in National Center for Health Statistics' vital
statistics data from 1999 and beyond. WISQARS uses groupings of these codes
as defined in Preliminary ICD-10 Matrix. For data
prior to 1999, International Classification of Disease Ninth
Revision (ICD-9) codes are used as presented in the Recommended
Framework for Presenting Injury Mortality Data.
If you need specific codes that are not defined in WISQARSTM,
you can specify them in WONDER.
What about ICD codes
not covered by WISQARS?
Yes--since release of the 1999 and later data, you can get
information on total deaths. Request a leading cause
of death report, then click on any age group at the top of
the report. WISQARS Fatal will display the total
number of deaths for that age group.
Can I get information on total
deaths and not just injury deaths?
How can I download
the information to my PC?
Each report allows you to download the data in a
comma-separated value (csv) format.
- Select the link at the bottom of the report that says
"Download Results in a Spreadsheet (CSV) File."
A window will appear asking whether to open the file or
- Select "Save this file to disk" and click on
the "OK" button.
- Browse for and select the location (folder, drive, etc.)
where you want to save the data. Click on the