How To... - Interpret Data
Where are the health problems occurring?
Surveillance data are analyzed by place to:
- determine the geographic location of where a health indicator is
occurring in a population (clinic, county, region, state, etc.) and
- gain insight into the geographic variation within the population.
The PedNSS and PNSS Geographic Comparison Tables provide a quick
comparison of prevalence of
health indicators across population geographic units. The specific tables for the geographic units of nation,
contributor (state, District of Columbia, U.S. territory, or tribal
government), county, clinic, and region can be used to compare data from
one geographic area to a neighboring area such as a state to its
neighboring states or a county to other counties within the state.
The geographic tables also provide a ranking of the prevalence for each
health indicator for one geographic area compared with those from the
larger area to which it belongs, for example, a county to other counties
in a state. The number one always indicates the area with the "best"
prevalence which may be the lowest or highest percent depending on the
health indicator. For example the lowest prevalence is the "best" for
anemia and growth indicators, while the highest prevalence is the "best"
for breastfeeding. Because the geographic areas are ranked from best to
worst, the area with the worst ranking for a health indicator can also be
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Page last reviewed: October 29, 2009
Page last updated: October 29, 2009
Content Source: Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity,
National Center for Chronic Disease
Prevention and Health Promotion