Frequently Asked Questions for the WISQARS™ Mobile iPhone App

About the Application

What are WISQARSTM and the WISQARSTM Mobile App?
How were the causes of injury in the Mobile App selected and will data be added for other causes of injury?
How often will the data be updated with a new data year in the Application?
 

Navigating the Application

How can I get to the menu page to select cause of death and other data filters?
How can I reset the Application to the default settings?
How can I change the color scheme of the map?
How can I display more ranges (quantiles) of death rates on the color-coded map?
How do I get crude rates rather than age-adjusted rates on the maps and graphs?
How can I get state-level data in graphs and charts other than by touching the state on the map?
How can I remove the highlight of a specific state on the map and return the map, graphs and charts to show data for the United States?
How can I view other graphs and charts that are not displayed on the screen of my mobile device?
How can I view the data (numbers, rates, and percentages) displayed in the maps, graphs and charts?
Can I download the data displayed in the map, graphs, and charts?
 

Technical Aspects of the Application

What are the data sources for deaths, population estimates and cost estimates used in the
Application?

How can I obtain more detailed data on fatal and nonfatal injuries?
How can I get information on injury topics of interest to me and what are some of CDC’s injury prevention activities associated with the Causes of Injury in the Application?
Why are some of the states shown in gray on the map when filtering by sex, race/ethnicity, and age groups?
Why, in some cases, are some of the death counts, percentages, and rates flagged with an asterisk (*) and why, in other cases, are death counts, percentages, and rates missing?
Why does the Five Leading Cause of Death chart for person ages 1-44 years for Overall Injury sometimes indicate “Data Unavailable?”
Why can’t I get cost estimates by race/ethnicity?
Why were such broad age groupings used in the Application?
What is the difference between a crude death rate and an age-adjusted death rate?
How do I interpret death rates based on three years of data?
Why do the cost of injury estimates provided in the Mobile App differ somewhat from those obtained using the WISQARSTM Cost of Injury Reports?
 

About the Application

What are WISQARSTM and the WISQARSTM Mobile App?

CDC’s WISQARSTM (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars) is an interactive, online database that provides fatal and nonfatal injury and cost of injury data from a variety of sources. Researchers, the media, public health professionals, and the public can use WISQARSTM data to learn more about the public health and economic burden associated with unintentional and violence-related injury in the United States.

CDC’s WISQARSTM Mobile Application is designed for use on mobile devices to provide a snapshot of U.S. injury deaths and death rates, overall and by state of residence, sex, race/ethnicity and selected age groups. It includes maps, charts, and graphs for selected causes of injury.

How were the causes of injury in the Mobile App selected and will data be added for other causes of injury?

The causes of injury were selected because they are the leading causes of injury death in the United States. The application was built with the flexibility to add other major causes of injury in the future.

How often will the data be updated with a new data year in the Application?

WISQARSTM Mobile App will be updated with more current death counts, rates and costs about once each year.

Navigating the Application

How can I get to the menu page to select cause of death and other data filters?

The WISQARSTM Mobile App will initially open to a page that displays a map, charts and graphs for Overall Injury Death. Cause of Death and other Data Filters can be viewed by touching the three bars in the upper left corner of the screen. Cause of Death is the primary filter and should be selected first before selecting the secondary filters (Sex, Race/Ethnicity, Age Groups, Location and Rate Type).

How can I reset the Application to the default settings?

The Application can be set back to the default settings by touching the looping arrow in the upper right corner of the Mobile App. There may be a brief hesitation while the Application resets itself to the default settings. The default settings for Data Filters are: Overall Injury Death, Both Sexes, All Race/Ethnicities, All Age Groups, United States and Age-Adjusted Rates.

How can I change the color scheme of the map?

On the Data Filters page, scroll down to “Display Options,” then touch “Map Colors.” A menu will appear with an option for changing the color scheme of the map. There is currently no option for changing the colors of the graphs and charts.

How can I display more ranges (quantiles) of death rates on the color-coded map?

On the Data Filters page, scroll down to “Display Options,” then touch “Map Ranges.” A menu will appear with an option for changing the number of map ranges for death rates. The user can choose four, five or six map ranges (quantiles).

Note that some maps may show fewer ranges than requested when using filters by sex, race/ethnicity and age group. This can occur when many states have zero deaths or when many states have death rates that are nearly identical.

How do I get crude rates rather than age-adjusted rates on the maps and graphs?

On the Data Filters page, scroll down and touch “Rate Type.” A menu will open with an option to select age-adjusted or crude death rates. When you change from one type of death rate to another, all death rates in the map, graphs and charts will change to the newly selected type of rate, even when sub-setting by sex, race/ethnicity, and age group.

How can I get state-level data in graphs and charts other than by touching the state on the map?

On the Data Filters page, scroll down and touch “Location.” A menu will open with the list of the United States and all 50 states. Scroll down to the state of interest and make a selection by touching the state name. When you select a specific state, counts, rates and percentages in the graphs and charts will change to reflect the selected state.

How can I remove the highlight of a specific state on the map and return the map, graphs and charts to show data for the United States?

On the US map, a state of interest can be selected and highlighted using a single-finger press. The state will be highlighted in color around its border; a hover-over with injury mortality information about that state will appear in the horizontal view of the map. A single-finger press outside the map will remove the hover-over information, but the highlight of the state will be retained. Also, all of the accompanying graphs and charts will provide injury mortality data for that highlighted state. A two-finger press anywhere on the map page will remove the highlight on that state and reset all accompanying graphs and charts to provide data for the overall US. Only the Location Data Filter will change to the overall US; all other Data Filters will be retained.

The Application can be set back to the default settings by touching the looping arrow in the upper right corner of the Mobile App. There may be a brief hesitation while the Application resets itself to the default settings. The default settings for Data Filters are: Overall Injury Death, Both Sexes, All Race/Ethnicities, All Age Groups, United States and Age-Adjusted Rates.

How can I view other graphs and charts that are not displayed on the screen of my mobile device?

If the mobile device is in the vertical position, other graphs and charts can be viewed by scrolling up or down. If the mobile device is in the horizontal position, other graphs and charts can be viewed by scrolling left or right. To return to the Data Filters page, touch the three bars in the upper left of the screen.

How can I view the data (death counts, percentages, and rates) displayed in the map, graphs and charts?

There are two options for displaying the data. First, press on a state in the map, a bar in the bar charts, a data point on the trend graph or a section of a pie chart and a hover over will appear with relevant data. Second, press on the three vertical dots on the title line of the map, graph or chart and a menu will appear with the option to “Show/Sort Data.” Press on “Show/Sort Data” and a data table will replace the figure. The data in the table can be sorted by any of the variables that are displayed by pressing on the column heading.

To return to the map, graph or chart, press on the boxed left arrow with an “X” inside in the upper left corner of the screen.

Can I download the data displayed in the map, graphs and charts?

No. Currently, the data in the table cannot be downloaded. However, all of the data can be regenerated and downloaded using WISQARSTM on the Internet (http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars).

Technical Aspects of the Application

What are the data sources for deaths, population estimates and cost estimates used in the Application?

Death data are from the National Vital Statistics System operated by the National Center for Health Statistics (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss.htm).

Population data are bridged-race population estimates developed by the US Census Bureau for the National Center for Health Statistics (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/bridged_race.htm).

Cost estimates are based on unit lifetime medical and work loss cost estimates computed by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) (http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/pdf/WISQARS_Cost_Methods-a.pdfpdf icon).

How can I get more detailed data on fatal and nonfatal injuries?

More detailed data on fatal and nonfatal injuries can be obtained using WISQARSTM (http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars). If you have access to the internet on your mobile device, you can also link directly to WISQARSTM from the Mobile App by touching the “i” in the upper right hand corner of the screen and selecting “WISQARS.”

How can I get information on injury topics of interest to me and what are some of CDC’s injury prevention activities associated with the Causes of Injury in the Application?

If you have access to the internet on your mobile device, you can link to injury prevention topics relevant to all causes of injury death in the Mobile App. Touch the “i” in the upper right hand corner of the screen and select “Injury Topics.” A landing page will appear on your screen that has a list of the causes of injury death and direct links to injury prevention pages on NCIPC’s web site. There are also links to available state web-based injury data query systems. For access to the landing page, go to http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/topics_mobile.html.

Why are some of the states shown in gray on the map when filtering by sex, race/ethnicity, and age groups?

States shown in gray on the map represent those states with less than 10 deaths for the subpopulation of interest. Death counts and rates for these states are suppressed to comply with NCIPC’s data use agreement to use death certificate data from the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Vital Statistics System to protect confidentiality and inadvertent disclosure of individuals.

Why, in some cases, are some of the death counts, percentages and rates flagged with an asterisk (*) while in other cases, death counts, percentages and rates are missing?

Counts, percentages and rates are flagged as potentially unstable if there are 10-20 deaths for the subpopulation of interest; these statistics should be interpreted with caution. For state-level data, counts, percentages and rates based on fewer than 10 deaths have been suppressed to comply with NCIPC’s data use agreement to use death certificate data from the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Vital Statistics System to protect confidentiality and inadvertent disclosure of individuals.

Why does the Five Leading Cause of Death chart for person ages 1-44 years for Overall Injury sometimes indicate “Data Unavailable?”

The purpose of the Five Leading Cause of Death chart for Overall Injury is to show that Unintentional Injury, Homicide and Suicide are among the five leading causes of death for persons 1-44 years for the United States and for most of the 50 states. For this chart, data are not provided by sex, race/ethnicity, and age groupings; this is indicated in the chart as “Data Not Presented. See 10 Leading Cause of Death chart for filtering by Sex, Age, and Race/Ethnicity.”

Why can’t I get cost estimates by race/ethnicity?

Total lifetime cost estimates in the Mobile App are based on unit medical and work loss costs provided to CDC by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), Calverton, MD (http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/pdf/WISQARS_Cost_Methods-a.pdfpdf icon). PIRE computed unit cost estimates for injury-related deaths by sex, age, mechanism of injury and intent of injury, but not by racial/ethnic groups.

Why were such broad age groupings used in the Application?

Broad age groupings were used in the Mobile App to help stabilize the death counts, percentages and rates when sub-setting the data by state of residence, sex and race/ethnicity. Injury-related death counts and rates by 5-year age groupings and by single year of age are available in WISQARSTM (http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars).

What is the difference between a crude death rate and an age-adjusted death rate?

A crude death rate is the observed death rate for the population or subpopulation of interest. An age-adjusted death rate is calculated to account for changes in the age distribution of the U.S. population over time or differences in age distributions among subpopulations (e.g. states). Age-adjusted rates may be preferred for injuries that occur more often among certain age groups than others. Age adjustment enables one to compare injury death rates across states without concern that patterns observed are simply due to differences in the age distributions of the populations in the different states. In the Mobile App, age-adjusted death rates are the default because they are the most useful for making statistical comparisons among states, across years, or among demographic groups defined by age, sex, and/or racial/ethnicity in the Application. Crude and age-adjusted death rates are expressed as deaths per 100,000 population.

How do I interpret death rates based on three years of data?

With the exception of the trend graph, all death rates computed in the application, whether crude or age-adjusted, are annual rates. Annual rates are computed as the sum of deaths over the three-year period divided by the sum of the eligible population over the same period. The result is then multiplied by 100,000. They can be interpreted as the average annual death rate per 100,000 population for the three-year period, or simply the death rate per 100,000 population per year.

Why do the cost of injury estimates provided in the Mobile App differ somewhat from those obtained using the WISQARSTM Cost of Injury Reports?

Methods used to compute total lifetime cost estimates using WISQARSTM Cost of Injury Reports (http://wisqars.cdc.gov:8080/costT) and the Mobile App are based on summations of unit costs of individual injury deaths for 2010 within cause categories. For the WISQARSTM Cost of Injury Reports, lifetime cost estimates are presented in 2010 prices with the option to inflate estimates to 2013 prices, while for the Mobile App, lifetime cost estimates are adjusted to 2011 prices. Cost of injury estimates in the Mobile App are rounded to the nearest 1,000 dollars.