Board of Scientific Counselors – Presentations

September 17-18, 2007

Back to September 2007 Presentations

National Death Index

PowerPoint Presentation [PDF – 361 KB]

Slide 1

National Death Index

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Slide 2

Purpose of the NDI

  • Identifies deceased study subjects
  • Provides the following:
    • dates of death
    • states of death
    • death certificate numbers

Notes: NDI was implemented in 1982. It is a central computerized index to death record information on file in the state vital statistics offices.

Assists researchers who are conducting prospective or retrospective studies to determine which study subjects may have died.

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Slide 3


  • Implemented in 1997
  • Provides researchers with
    • Underlying cause of death codes
    • Multiple cause codes

Notes: Before NDI Plus most users purchased death certificates from the states (1982-1997)

Then in 1997, after about 8 years of negotiations with the states, the NDI was permitted to release cause of death codes

Provides International Classification of Diseases codes – ICD codes

ICD-9 1979-1998
ICD-10 1999 onward

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Slide 4


  • All 50 states, District of Columbia, NYC, Puerto Rico, & Virgin Islands
  • 61 million NDI records
  • All deaths from 1979-2005


  • 2.5 million death records added each year
  • 2003 deaths to be added December or January
  • 2003 cause of death codes should be available by April 2005
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Slide 5

Studies using the NDI

  • Medical/surgical treatment effectiveness
  • Clinical trials
  • Post-marketing drug surveillance
  • Cancer, AIDS & other disease registries
  • General population studies:
    • Census Bureau, NLMS (2.4 million records)
    • American Cancer Society (1 million records)
    • Dept. of Veterans Affairs (1.3 million records)
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Slide 6

NDI users, 1982-2007*
Users served – 1,460
NDI searches performed – 4,248
User records submitted – 57 million
* As of September 6, 2007

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Slide 7

NDI Usage (for the 12 months ending 8/31/07)

  • New users served – 107
  • Searches performed for new and repeat users – 293
  • User records submitted – 4.3 million

NDI Plus searches – 275 Routine NDI searches – 18

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Slide 8

12 NDI Advisers

  • 4 from State vital statistics offices
  • 3 from the NIH
  • 3 from CDC
  • 2 non-Federal researchers
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Slide 9

State Vital Statistics Offices

  • Richard Genovese
    Director, Quality Assurance and Special Studies
    Bureau of Vital Statistics
    New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Robert Hayman, Ph.D.
    Data Production Manager
    Vital Statistics Administration
    Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Alvin Onaka, Ph.D.
    State Registrar
    Office of Health Status Monitoring
    Hawaii Department of Health
  • Lou Saadi, Ph.D.
    Director, Office of Health Care Information, CHES
    Kansas State Department of Health and Environment
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Slide 10

National Institutes of Health

  • Michael Alavanja, Dr.P.H.
    Captain, USPHS
    Senior Investigator
    Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
    National Cancer Institute
  • Teri Manolio, M.D., MHS.
    Epidemiology and Biometry, DECA
    National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
  • Barry Portnoy, Ph.D.
    Senior Advisor for Disease Prevention
    Office of Disease Prevention
    Office of the Director, NIH
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Slide 11

Centers for Disease Control

  • John Sestito, J.D., M.S. Assistant Director for Surveillance Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • Kathryn S. Porter, M.D., M.S.
    Medical Officer
    Division of Health Examination Statistics
    National Center for Health Statistics
  • Christine Cox, M.A. Branch Chief, Special Projects Branch
    NCHS Special Assistant for Record Linkage
    Office of Analysis and Epidemiology
    National Center for Health Statistics
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Slide 12

Non-Federal Researchers

  • Thomas M. Mack, M.D.
    Keck School of Medicine
    University of Southern California
  • Rob Schnatter, Dr.PH.
    Senior Scientific Advisor
    ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences, Inc.
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Slide 13

NDI Website

NDI Contact:

Robert Bilgrad
301 – 458 – 4101

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