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NCHS Research Data Center (RDC)

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) developed the Research Data Centers (RDC) to allow researchers access to restricted data. Today, in addition to providing access to NCHS data, the RDC also hosts restricted data from a variety of groups within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The RDC is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of survey respondents, study subjects, or institutions from which data were collected. In order to do this, we request all researchers submit a research proposal outlining the need for this more sensitive data. The proposal provides a framework for us to identify potential disclosure risk. Once approved, we work with you to create a data file specific to your research question. We cannot send you the dataset, but we offer several modes of access.

People interested in using the RDC are typically, university trained researchers who are comfortable using SAS or a similar statistical package to analyze standard datasets. Past researchers have been epidemiologists, economists, demographers and health scientists.

If this is your first time using the RDC we have provided step-by-step instructions to guide you along the process.

  1. Restricted Data
  2. Access Modes
  3. The Proposal Process
  4. Confidentiality
  5. Approved Projects: Next Steps
  6. Publishing Guidelines